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Home > IMPACT Speakers - Cathy Ritter


Founder and CEO, Better Destinations LLC

Cathy Ritter, Founder and CEO of Better Destinations LLC, draws upon nearly a decade of experience as state tourism director for both Colorado and Illinois in bringing together expert resources for destination management solutions, especially relating to destination stewardship. She currently is partnering with MMGY NextFactor on creation of destination plans for Vail, Glacier Country Tourism (MT) and North Myrtle Beach.

Cathy's work to create the Colorado Tourism Roadmap is widely credited with leading a national movement toward responsible tourism. To inspire Colorado travelers, she approached the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, creating the ground-breaking Care for Colorado Principles as a model for other destinations.

Now a Trustee of The Travel Foundation, she is immediate past chair of the National Council of State Tourism Directors and has served on the U.S. Travel Association’s Executive Committee and as an officer for the Western States Tourism Policy Council. She is a contributor to a new book edited by the Center for Responsible Travel, Overtourism: Lessons for a Better Future (Island Press, 2021), She serves on the Parks, Preservation and Public Spaces Advisory Council for America 250, the nonprofit formed to plan the celebration of the nation's semiquencentennial in 2026.

Since founding Better Destinations in April 2021, Cathy has taken on a wide range of projects, including participation in a destination stewardship plan for the Lake Tahoe region. Her client roster also includes Travel Nevada, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Port Aransas (TX) Tourism Bureau, Travel Marquette (MI), and Visit Durango (CO).