eTourism Summit Announces 2021 Emerging Tourism Stars Winners

NORCROSS, GA (July 1, 2021) — Connect Travel, the owner and producer of eTourism Summit, announced the winners of the inaugural Emerging Tourism Stars for 2021. The winners will be recognized during the 22nd Annual eTourism Summit, the premier U.S. gathering of destination digital marketers in travel and their partner agencies, on Sept. 20–22, 2021, in Las Vegas.

Emerging Tourism Stars is a new annual program created in partnership with MMGY Global designed to recognize and celebrate astute individuals in destination marketing and attractions. In particular, the awards focus on those that are new to the eTourism community of digital travel and tourism professionals or have risen to the challenges of a new role within the community. 

“For 22 years, eTourism Summit has been about innovation and ‘See Tomorrow’ ideas. With support from MMGY Global, we’re excited to recognize a select group of Emerging Tourism Stars who are destined to be the destination marketing leaders of the future,” said Will Seccombe, president of Connect Travel. 

Winners will be directly connected with a travel and tourism thought leader as a mentor. They will each receive a scholarship to attend eTourism Summit, where they will be invited to a panel discussion moderated by MMGY Global. In addition, their professional story will be shared in The Travel Vertical and the eTourism Summit Magazine. One winner will have the opportunity to fill the Emerging Tourism Star seat on the eTourism Summit Advisory Board for 2022. 

“It has been inspiring and humbling to see the number of emerging leaders that have stepped up, innovated and rallied for their organization, their community and the industry,” said Justin Farmer, SVP of business strategy at MMGY Global. “We are honored to partner with eTourism Summit on this exciting new program celebrating these future destination marketing leaders.”

The winners of the 2021 Emerging Tourism Stars program are:

Jake Brown, Content Manager – Visit South Bend
Cody Gray, President & CEO – Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism
Sabrina Dueñas, Digital Marketing Manager – Visit Oakland
Kyle Johnson, Digital Communications Specialist – Indiana Destination Development Corp (Visit Indiana)
Maria Skrzynski, Marketing Coordinator and Office Manager – Destination Ann Arbor
Katie Utken, Marketing and Communications Manager – Hamilton County Tourism
Emily Zertuche, VP, Marketing and Communications – Visit Corpus Christi


ABOUT eTOURISM SUMMIT: Founded in 2000, eTourism Summit is both a leading event and a community connecting destination marketing professionals and their partner agencies with best practices and innovations in digital media. Through a weekly newsletter, podcast, and webinars, plus the annual eTourism Summit, the community shares timely case studies covering applications of research, cool tools, and marketing. For more information, visit

ABOUT CONNECT TRAVEL: Connect Travel creates efficient and effective environments to expedite the sales process by connecting tourism professionals with the products, services, people and ideas that allow them to thrive in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive global marketplace. For more information, visit

ABOUT MMGY GLOBAL: MMGY Global is the world’s leading integrated marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. With eight operating brands across the world, the award-winning organization maintains a global communications practice in all marketing channels, serving many of the world’s premier travel and tourism brands. As a company dedicated to the travel industry, MMGY Global strives to create a connected, inclusive and peaceful world by promoting travel as a cultural bridge of understanding. For more information, visit