Destinations International Announces 10 European Pathfinders


Bringing together European leaders to shape future engagement


Media Contact:
Caitlyn Blizzard
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. (September 15, 2022) – Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), today announced the 10 inaugural Pathfinders for the Pathfinders Programme to help shape the future of engagement across Europe. The announcement of the Pathfinders Programme was first made at IMEX Frankfurt earlier this year.

As the world starts to rebuild because of the impact of the pandemic and the worldwide shutdown of meetings and events, destination organizations are finding themselves with the rare opportunity to reflect on the impact our industry has on the communities we serve. Now is the time to be bold and rebuild in a way that is impactful, strategic, collaborative and intentional. The Pathfinders will work with Destinations International to identify areas of opportunity for the association to create value for European destination organizations and to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration between European and North American destination organizations.

“One of the silver linings of the global pandemic is that it has brought the importance of destination organizations to life and brought unprecedented collaboration between destinations,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “Communities recognize the impact business events have in their destinations and that importance is even more visible now. The pandemic has provided opportunities for tourism officials, civic leaders and local government to come together and build stronger communities. The Pathfinders Programme will bring even more collaboration so we can rebuild intentionally.”

The Pathfinders include:

  • Geneva Tourisme & Convention Foundation, Alain Pittet                     
  • Malmö Convention Bureau, Johan Menso                          
  • Madrid Destino - Madrid Convention Bureau, David Noack
  • VisitScotland, Rory Archibald                   
  • Fáilte Ireland, Paul Mockler                                   
  • Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, Alexia Panagiotopoulou             
  • Hungarian & Budapest Convention Bureau, Gabriella Becsei
  • Visit Oulu, Yrjötapio Kivisaari                                 
  • Turisme de Barcelona/ Ajuntament de Barcelona, Rosa Bada           
  • Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency, Esra Güler

The Destinations International Pathfinders will work with the Destinations International team to bring key trends and opportunities in European destinations to light and understand how leaders in the industry are stepping up to address these challenges and opportunities. The Pathfinders will then work with the association to develop a framework to elevate the collective voice of destination organizations in Europe, and better communicate the impact of their work in local communities.

“As our industry continues to recover from the pandemic, we are in a unique position to rethink how we approach destination marketing and management,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “The European Pathfinders Programme offers a tremendous opportunity to further build relationships and learn from one another, to advance the global industry,”

“Over the past seven months I have been on a global listening tour to understand the broader industry needs and gaps,” said Jane Cunningham, director of European engagement at Destinations International. “The feedback received pointed in the direction of the need for global knowledge sharing, collaboration and creation of digital solutions to enable us to tackle the big issues our industry and our communities are facing. The Pathfinders Programme is a result of my listening tour as we can only develop a value proposition with the involvement of European organisations. We are creating a sandpit with a group of innovators with diverse roles and experience. Together we will explore, reflect and prioritize tools and services that we can support to empower destinations to excel.”

“I wanted to join the Pathfinders Programme to learn and contribute, because the tourism industry is a key actor (mobility, economy, liveable places, etc.) to contribute with positive answers to the global challenges we are facing,” said Rosa Bada, Institutional Relations Director, Turisme de Barcelona-Barcelona City Council. “Solutions have always been about involving the right people, at the right time asking the right questions, but also offering specific recommendations, tools and proposals. The Destinations International network is a relevant place to reflect and look for inspiration and also to build solutions together.”

Destinations International’s European engagement is supported by Destinations International’s key partners working together to increase European engagement including MMGY Global, Simpleview, Expedia Group, SearchWide Global and IMEX Group.

Destinations International is pleased to invite European destination leaders to join the Destinations International Pathfinders Programme.

More information about the Destinations International Pathfinders Programme can be found at


About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit