Destinations International Studies Examine Diversity, Tourism

December 3, 2020
Destinations International Studies Examine Diversity, Tourism

Destinations International has released two studies that look at key issues facing the travel industry. The first focuses on the role destination organizations play in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion, while the second—conducted with Longwoods International—examines the perception of the travel industry by U.S. residents.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

A follow-up to the baseline data compiled in 2019, DI’s 2020 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Study on Destination Organizations found a need and desire for destination organizations to drive growth in diverse leadership representation at the executive and board levels. The study also identified strategies that should be implemented to cultivate a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline.

“This report has laid a foundation for our members to identify actionable strategies to deliberately cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment within their organization and community,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. 

The identified strategies include the following:

• Establishing an actionable CEO pledge for destination management organizations to solidify a commitment to implement equity, diversity and inclusive best practices to strengthen leadership accountability and advance opportunities for diverse talent into executive, management and board roles.

• Developing and offering opportunities for deeper learning of self-awareness training and EDI educational programming.

• Setting industry best practices and standards to help develop and cultivate diverse candidates for leadership roles within destination organizations by providing access to resources and career-advancing opportunities.

• Continuing to identify, benchmark and track metrics to measure progress and growth within destination organizations to establish industry standards and promote accountability for EDI best practices and initiatives.

• Developing and launching a toolkit to support and provide members with the resources and guidance to implement EDI strategies within their respective destinations.

Resident Sentiment Toward Tourism

DI and Longwoods International’s third annual National Resident Sentiment Towards Tourism study examines how Americans assess the growth of the tourism industry in terms of its benefits to their lives as well as potential pitfalls. 

This year’s survey showed that while there remains opportunity to improve the perceived benefit of the industry to communities, a majority of those surveyed agree that tourism is good for their state (64 percent) and local (57 percent) areas. These figures go up by at least 20 percentage points for those who consider themselves informed about tourism.

“This research confirms that there is broad public support for the tourism industry in communities across the country,” said Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International.  “But the study also makes clear that the industry would benefit if it did a better job keeping local residents informed on upcoming tourism-related projects and initiatives.” 

In partnership with DI, Longwoods will be offering custom resident sentiment research for DI members. These studies will allow cities, regions and states to understand local support for the tourism industry and how that support compares to the national norm. Organizations that wish to learn more about participating in a resident sentiment study can click here for more information.

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: