Mary Charleson serves as ESTO Awards travel marketing lead judge for a second year

Mary Charleson was thrilled to serve as a lead judge for one of the most important destination marketing organizations in the United States – the U.S. Travel Association, and their annual ESTO Awards. The 2023 awards includ the Destinations Council DESTINY AWARDS, and the National Council of State Tourism Directors MERCURY AWARDS. This is the second consecutive year that Mary has served as a judge.

View the top finalists

The top finalists have now been announced in all categories. Campaigns can be viewed HERE  with the winners being announced on August 22, 2023 at the awards gala during the ESTO conference (Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations) in Savannah, Georgia, August 19-22, 2023

In executing her duties as a judge and panelist, Mary lead a team of five to evaluate the entries for the Awards’ annual program in the category of Integrated Marketing and Messaging Campaign. By channeling her years of experience in marketing, travel & tourism, and education as a university professor, she helped to guide her fellow industry-leaders in recognizing excellence, and creative contributions of destination marketing organizations and professionals from across the country. Winning entries are used by the U.S. Travel Association as educational tools for destination marketers around the nation.

“It’s an honor to return to the ESTO awards as a lead judge, and this year to contribute to educating other judges about the process of reviewing entries, and providing meaningful insight and feedback, based on marketing and consumer trends,” said Charleson. “After seeing last year’s excellent work, and the marketing challenges post-pandemic, I was excited about this year’s truly impressive work from across the country. The list of finalists is very impressive.”

Mary Charleson is committed to serving the travel and tourism industry as both a marketing consultant, speaker and educator at, as well as being a travel writer and content creator at


Mary Charleson

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