News & Views

Kayla Leska Promoted to Vice President, Tourism Public Relations

Development Counsellors International (DCI) is pleased to announce that Kayla Leska has been promoted to vice president of public relations within its Tourism Practice.

During the last decade, Kayla has crafted strategic communications plans and implemented tactical programs for U.S. destinations from California to Iowa to Florida, and international destinations from Barbados to Scotland to Japan. Yet her work during the last three years — helping destination marketing organizations worldwide navigate the tumultuous pandemic-created challenges — has been particularly impactful.

Kayla led the team that launched the world’s first remote work visa for the island nation of Barbados, which resulted in global media coverage. She also spearheaded national public relations efforts for Visit Florida, which aided the state in becoming America’s most visited. Her communications leadership helped maintain and restore jobs in the tourism industry at the industry’s most critical time.

Certified in crisis communication, Kayla helps destinations navigate natural disasters — such as, hurricanes, forest fires and floods — and her strategic counseling and creative destination recovery campaigns have helped devastated destinations regain ground.

“Kayla works tirelessly for our destination clients, especially in times of crisis,” Karyl Leigh Barnes, president of DCI’s Tourism Practice, said. “But what is most meaningful is that Kayla leverages her leadership promotion to be a vocal advocate for diverse voices in our industry, whether they are at the marketing table or as storytellers.”

In her new role, Kayla will lead a team of nearly 20 communications professionals in the United State and Canada to implement destination public relations campaigns, while formalizing and expanding DCI’s public relations efforts for hotels, tour operators and cultural attractions.

Congratulations, Kayla! We are excited to see you take on this new role!

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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