New Destinations International Futures Study Provides Recovery Roadmap for Destination Organizations

August 9, 2021

Destinations International, the world’s largest and only association dedicated to destination organizations, CVBs and tourism boards, has released its 2021 DestinationNEXT Futures Study, an updated study of key trends and strategies that will help thousands of destination organizations around the world stay thriving and relevant.

Built on the learnings from the 2014, 2017 and 2019 Futures Studies, the 2021 Futures Study identifies travel and tourism trends while taking a deep dive into the major opportunities for destination marketing and management leaders, thus providing a critical roadmap for destination organizations looking to not only rebuild their visitor economies, but also create more sustainable places, enrich their communities and deliver a sector that is financially self-sustaining in the long-term. 

“Destinations International is committed to providing our members with essential information to help their organizations and communities excel,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International, which boasts almost 6,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in 15 countries. “The data presented in this study will help guide destination organizations around the world with a roadmap that will ultimately lead to the recovery of our industry.”

The DestinationNEXT Futures Study is conducted every other year and this year included a comprehensive survey of 706 participants across 52 countries. It identified the following three transformational opportunities for destination organizations to use to improve their organizations and better their communities:

·      Destination alignment: Aligning the public, private and civic sectors drives destination performance

·      Sustainable development: Destination and product development should marry people, planet, profit and policy

·      Values-based marketing: Community values, goals and energy is the new competitive advantage

“This has been an immensely challenging time for visitor economies worldwide,” said MMGY NextFactor President and CEO Paul Ouimet, who served as past managing director of DI’s DestinationNEXT initiative. 

He continued, “While there’s no doubt that our industry will play a critical role in the global recovery, it will be different to the one that we are accustomed to. There will be new challenges, new opportunities and new ways of thinking. It is fair to say the decisions made now will shape the industry for many years to come.”

To download this complimentary report, as well as access DestinationNEXT Futures Studies from past years, go here.

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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: