Leading the Way to Recovery in Your Community

By: Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International

As I think about the challenges our industry has faced over the past two years, I have been inspired by what our destination organization members around the world have accomplished. They have helped their destinations navigate the unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic and they will continue to play a key role in the recovery of their communities. As destination organization leaders move into 2022, it is important that they continue to keep their residents top-of-mind.

Throughout the pandemic, many destination organizations had the unique opportunity to help lead communications efforts along with their community partners. This led to elected leaders, residents, and local businesses having the opportunity to learn more about what convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) do and the vital role they play in their communities.

“Many destination organizations had the unique opportunity to help lead communications efforts.”

CVBs collaborated with local organizations to launch creative marketing and communications campaigns to educate their communities and encourage safety measures during the pandemic. During these challenging times, CVBs have become the go-to organization for real-time, accurate information representing their entire communities.

In some cases, residents may have had the first introduction to their local CVB through the pandemic resources they found resulting from CVB-led marketing campaigns.

As we continue the recovery period, destination organization leaders should continue to work with local stakeholders and share the message that a destination organization reaches beyond the tourism sector. It is a community asset, one that is responsible for programs that promote their community as an attractive travel destination by enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work.

Destination organizations are responsible for building upon the quality of life of a community. It is our job as destination leaders to continue to share that message as we move into 2022 and beyond.

Don Welsh is the president and CEO of Destinations International, the global trade association for convention and visitors bureaus and tourism boards.