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Industry Briefs

U.S. Travel Association recognized Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) CEO Rossi Ralenkotter on the occasion of 45 years with the organization and innovating the tourism industry. The special recognition was delivered recently in Washington, D.C. at a U.S. Travel board of directors dinner. During his more than four decades with the LVCVA, Ralenkotter has become a travel and marketing visionary, developing the destination marketing organization into today's model for how convention and visitors bureaus operate and transforming Las Vegas into an international brand.

Ralenkotter began his career at the LVCVA in 1973 as a research analyst and transformed the organization into a research-based machine driven by data and visitor feedback that has now become the norm for destination marketing agencies. Under Ralenkotter's leadership, the LVCVA launched the iconic and most successful branding campaign in tourism history, which is best known for its oft-repeated tagline, "What happens here, stays here™." The legendary campaign is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018. It has received recognition as USA Today's most effective campaign and was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame.

"Few if any travel leaders have so deeply shaped their destination while also building travel on a national level, and that is Rossi's legacy," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "He's led Las Vegas to global success and worked with Washington on important issues, like Brand USA, international traveler research, and travel infrastructure. I relied on Rossi's sound counsel and partnership as U.S. Travel's national chair, and was particularly pleased for his induction into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders in 2014. He's an icon in a city of icons, a true gentleman, and a dear friend to this industry. Congratulations on 45 years, Rossi!"

Ralenkotter has shaped Las Vegas' evolution with innovation and ultimately driven trends for the travel and tourism industry overall. He is now a national leader in advocating for the tourism industry. He was named the inaugural chairman of the Department of Transportation's National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure. He was a technical advisory committee member of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Brand USA and a past Chair of the Board of Directors and current board member for the U.S. Travel Association. Ralenkotter recently completed his term as Chair of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Commerce and remains on the Board. Additionally, he served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism.

By pushing the envelope and continuously innovating, Las Vegas attracts more than 42 million global visitors annually and, in Southern Nevada, tourism supports nearly 44 percent of the workforce and has an estimated $60 billion impact on the economy.

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. As the united voice of the industry, U.S. Travel prioritizes high-impact issues that matter most to their collective membership. They not only identify the industry's biggest opportunities and challenges, but also develop the messages and actions to create positive growth. For more information, visit