DI Reports Landmark Growth in 2023

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

destinations internationalDestinations International’s latest annual report outlines some of the highlights in 2023, from record membership growth to the launch of new tools and resources.

“2023 was a landmark year for [Destinations International] DI,” said DI President and CEO Don Welsh in the introduction of DI’s 2023 Annual Report. “We achieved record-breaking membership growth, welcoming 107 new destination member organizations, expanding our reach across 30 countries and territories, and growing our global community to over 720 destination members.” DI also expanded its partnership department, adding 12 new partners, two industry partners, three media partners and 43 new business members.

Destinations International, whose mission is to educate, equip and empower destination organizations such as destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), notes in the report significant development also in its Pathfinders Programme in Europe. This program includes 26 thought leaders who are seeking ways to meet the challenges faced by destinations in the Europe region specifically.

In addition to expanding its membership and partnerships, DI’s annual report details an uptick in usage on some of its popular tools. The Event Impact Calculator (EIC), which almost 350 destination organizations around the globe now use to measure the economic value of meetings and events to a destination and calculates the return on investment to local taxes, now is shared across half of DI’s membership, as well as through shared partnerships with IAVM and Sports ETA. Subscribers ran 158,613 event impact calculations in 2023, which represents a 30 percent increase over 2022.

Another ongoing DI initiative that is continuing to grow is its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programs. In 2023, DI launched its first EDI Summit and a new Social Impact Assessment Tool. The tool is now used by more than 200 destination member organizations. The organization also launched its first inclusion study for industry partners last year, partnered with Tourism Cares, launched its first social inclusion lexicon, and launched a Tourism for All pilot project in conjunction with the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Among the new resources DI launched last year was the Community Vitality Wheel, a tool that helps destinations show that destination promotion is a catalyst for communities to become vital places that people want to visit, live, work and play.

The DestinationNEXT 2023 Futures Study, which surveyed more than 800 destination leaders from 62 countries on key tourism trends and strategies as destination organizations and local communities undergo systemic shifts post-COVID. Among the key findings for business events is that CVBs and DMOs can leverage their destination’s priority economic sectors to generate business events that align with the organizer’s goals and target audiences, as well as develop and support new events and create a long-term strategic plan for the destination. DI undertakes this study every two years.

The Destination International Foundation also had a good year, raising more than $1.2 million USD. The Foundation’s funds support the development of new tools and resources, including its new Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) scholarship program, as well as the organization’s 30 Under 30 Emerging Leaders Program, which provides support and resources to future industry leaders.

“As we release this annual report, we are inspired by the achievements of our members and the resilience of the travel and tourism sector,” said Welsh.

You May Also Be Interested In…

21 Niche Event Industry Associations

2024 DEI Report Card

Meetings & Incentives: Forecast for 2024


Print Friendly, PDF & Email