Have you ever dreamed of working in the travel industry? Let’s be real, I’m sure most of us have but only a few of us actually make that dream come true. One such person is DT Minich, President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee.
DT Minich has been in the tourism industry since he graduated college, and spent the earlier part of his career promoting different destinations in his home state of Florida. Today, he’s living the dream of showcasing the theme park mecca and family-friendly favorite destination that is Kissimmee, Florida. Not only does he do the work, but he also lives the life, literally: DT calls the unique town of Celebration in Kissimmee home. A special town with a special history, Celebration was actually founded by The Walt Disney Company in the mid-1990s as a master-planned community inspired by historical American small towns.
We got the chance to chat with this travel industry veteran about how he made his dream job a reality. Read on below!
What is your official title? Do you have one?
DT Minich, President & CEO of Experience Kissimmee. A lot of people in the industry say that DT stands for Director of Tourism.
How did you get into your current line of work?
I started working as an intern for The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida convention and visitors bureau. From intern, I worked my way up through many different departments, including communications, sales, corporate, until I became CEO. After seven years, I was recruited to run Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater bureau, also in Florida. I ran that bureau for seven years until I was recruited to come to Experience Kissimmee, where I’ve been for four years.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’ve been working for Florida convention and visitors bureaus since I started my career after college, so I don’t see myself doing something different. Even my family recognizes that I was born to do this job. Growing up, my family traveled a lot, and I was always the one planning the activities to explore the destinations we visited.
I also love the beaches in northeast Brazil. So, if I wasn’t doing this, I would probably be working and traveling to different beach destinations.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I was named the Person of the Year for Southwest Florida when I was working with The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. During my time there, I handled the aftermath of 9/11 and hurricanes Charlie and Wilma. I was very proud to be part of the recovery process after these events.
I’m also the only person in Florida that has run three major convention and visitors bureaus in the same state, nobody else has done that.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to find their dream job but hasn’t yet?
Keep dreaming and keep trying new things out until you figure out what you are passionate about. I think the most important thing for any job is to do something you are passionate about, because life is too short.