News & Views

Kayla Leska Promoted To Managing Director of Tourism PR

We’ve got some exciting news from within our family! Development Counsellors International (DCI) has promoted Kayla Leska to Managing Director of Tourism Public Relations.

In her new role, Kayla will oversee communications strategy for DCI’s Tourism Public Relations Division clients and direct the firm’s tourism crisis/recovery communication efforts.

In addition to a decade of experience managing crisis communications for travel destinations around the globe, Kayla has completed a three-month crisis communication certification program through the Public Relations Society of America to further her credentials. She will leverage her expertise to advance DCI’s crises communications strategies and spearhead the development of crisis response and recovery plans for DCI’s tourism clients.

Kayla will also facilitate professional development programs for DCI’s tourism public relations staff in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, Canada.

For most of her career, Kayla has focused on tourism public relations and destination marketing, joining DCI from a boutique travel PR agency that specialized in Caribbean travel brands. She has worked with more than 40 travel destinations around the world to develop public relations programs that promote destination narratives and inspire consumers to act.

“In today’s ever-changing media landscape, it’s critical that public relations practitioners utilize innovative PR strategies and impactful storytelling to break through the clutter and generate media coverage,” said Karyl Leigh Barnes, President of DCI’s Tourism Practice. “Kayla’s ability to develop strategic public relations campaigns that consistently drive media results is a major asset to DCI and our destination clients. Independent consumer awareness research shows that these editorial placements are changing consumer perceptions and result in actual travel bookings.”

A graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, Leska has spoken on destination public relations campaign successes at PRSA’s Travel & Tourism Conference and facilitated public relations workshops at the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Annual Conference.

Outside of work, Kayla enjoys exploring new bucket list destinations with her husband, snowboarding in the winter and spending time with her German shepherd whenever possible.

For more information, visit

Written By

Karyl Leigh Barnes

Karyl Leigh Barnes is President of DCI’s Tourism Practice. Since joining the firm in 1998, Karyl Leigh has led destination strategy and created marketing communication programs for destinations on every continent except Antarctica.

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