This fall, the U.S. Travel Association is set to honor two distinguished figures—Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President and CEO of Destination DC, and Peter F. Herschend, Co-founder of Herschend Enterprises—as the 2023 inductees into the prestigious Hall of Leaders.
The Hall of Leaders recognition is reserved for individuals making sustained and notable contributions that positively shape the travel industry and elevate industry-wide standards, as per the U.S. Travel Association.
Geoff Freeman, President, and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, expressed admiration for the impactful contributions of both honorees, stating, “Elliott and Peter each have created a lasting impact across the travel industry while successfully leading organizations that better the communities they serve.”
Elliott Ferguson, at the helm of Destination DC since 2009, has played a pivotal role in fostering economic development through tourism. He has also been actively involved in philanthropy, notably through the American Experience Foundation, Destination DC’s affiliated non-profit. Reflecting on Ferguson’s leadership, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser remarked, “Elliott has helped tell our story and share with the world what we already know: that Washington, DC, is the greatest city in the world.”
Peter Herschend, a key figure in the early days of Brand USA, has been instrumental in Missouri’s infrastructure projects. His contributions extend beyond the travel industry, with notable roles in environmental initiatives such as Ozarks Water Watch and the Upper White River Basin Foundation. Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson praised Herschend, stating, “Peter is a true champion of Missouri who always works to do right by our state and people.”
All three honorees, including the 2022 Hall of Leaders recipient Roger Dow, will be celebrated by the U.S. Travel board of directors at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on November 15, marking a momentous occasion in recognition of their invaluable contributions to the travel industry.