INCENTIVEWISE

In Memoriam Christophe Verstraete (1964 – 2021)

It is with a deep sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of our beloved and esteemed MICE colleague and Site Belgium Past President, Christophe Verstraete. Christophe passed away on Monday 20 September 2021.

christophe

Christophe Verstraete

News has just come in from Jean-Pierre Cornelis (Past-President, SITE Belgium) of the tragic passing of Christophe Verstraete.

“It is with a deep sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of our beloved and esteemed MICE colleague and Site Belgium Past President, Christophe Verstraete. Christophe passed away on Monday 20 September 2021.

Christophe was passionate about Incentive Travel and the Hospitality industry. He started his career in 1989 with the Sheraton Hotel Group in Belgium and Africa moving, in 1996, to Event Director. In 1999, he joined Euromic, an organization representing event companies and DMCs in 54 countries, eventually serving as executive director. Those who knew him will remember he was very attentive in relationship and taking care of others. We will definitely miss him.”

Christophe was a fierce advocate for DMCs and knew, better than most, how to highlight their unique contribution to the creation, design, and delivery of seamless destination-based experiences.

He was also quite the “historian”, too, challenging the origin of the term DMC as reported in the Padraicino blog back in 2013:

Christophe Verstraete is a true professional who is passionate about the DMC sector. As Executive Director of Euromic, the longest established marketing consortium of DMCs on the planet, he is also anxious to establish accuracy and precision around the origins of the term DMC. He approached me in June at the Site EMEA Forum in Berlin questioning my account in a previous blog post of the origins of the term. I promised him at the time that I’d return to this topic and highlight material evidence from the archives of Euromic from 1982 attributing the creation of the term to Tom Risbecker.

“At Euromic we have always supported the fact that the term Destination Management Company (DMC) was coined by our Swedish Member, Tom Risbecker. Our Association promoted DMC first in the media as early as 1982. If we are correct, during the early incentive days, there was really no American DMCs, the Europeans were way ahead. During all the years since we officially took on the term DMC, we have never heard anybody claim the right to the DMC name, so it seems a bit odd [for Chris Lee] to make such a claim this many years afterward. Due to this confusion, we would like to determine whether Euromic or Access can officially claim to be the originator of our current designation DMC by providing supporting evidence of their creation of the term “Destination Management Company.”

It could be, as indicated in the introduction to last week’s post, that we’re dealing with a true case of “multiple independent discovery” but, in fairness to Christophe and to Euromic, let’s try to provide supporting evidence of the use of the term “DMC” in the US in 1972. Over to you Chris!

On behalf of the entire SITE community, we send our heartfelt sympathy to Christophe’s wife, Agnes, and his son, Alexandre.

A register for condolences has been opened as follows in both French and Dutch although condolences may also be expressed in English:

Written by

SITE Staff

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