Introducing a Community Alignment Roadmap

Aligning public support around a shared vision for your destination—and building support for your destination organization.
 

By The Destinations International Advocacy Team

For two years now, Destinations International has been advocating for our members to align their mission with the needs of their destination, an approach that requires a destination organization to become a valued community asset, a Community Shared Value.

As we’ve watched our members successfully pivot to embrace this approach, we have learned a lot about what makes a destination organization successful. Of course, no two destination organizations are exactly alike because no two destinations are exactly alike. But, when we observe effective destination organizations—and destination organizations that have built a solid base of support in their community—we can say that these share a specific set of core values. Likewise when we try to understand why some destination organizations are less effective than others, what we often see is that these organizations’ failures are tied directly to the absence of these core values.

For the next several months, we intend to dive more deeply into these values—what they mean, and how they are tied to destination success. We will share case studies featuring some members who we think embody these values and set an example for the industry. We will demonstrate how these values tie directly into your organization’s advocacy plan. And we will try to help you think about whether your organization lives up to these values.

The Core Values of an Effective Destination Organization: 

Passion 

Destination Passion is an intense enthusiasm for our destination, our community, and its people. 

Awareness 

Destination Awareness is a concern about and well-informed interest in the history, situation, people, and/or development in our specific destination. It is also something to be spread and generated in others. 

Transparency 

Destination Transparency is all about being proactively open to stakeholder and public scrutiny and requests for information. 

Inclusiveness 

Destination Inclusiveness means including and not excluding any area or neighborhood of our destination, any group or segment of people within our destination, or any history, culture, or tradition that shapes our destination. 

Engagement 

Destination Engagement is the process of informing and listening to groups of people within our destination to address issues affecting the wellbeing of the community and promotion of the destination. 

Collaboration 

Destination Collaboration is the action of working with our stakeholders, our government officials and our residents to produce or create something about or within our destination – both content and product. 

Innovation 

Destination Innovation is to make changes in our destination and the promotion of it - especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. 

Stewardship 

Destination Stewardship is balancing economic development, sustainable tourism, and quality of life. 

Relevance 

Destination Relevance comes from being closely connected and involved to what is being done or considered in our destination. 

These nine core values inform us what is desirable. They are tied to destination success. And they provide a roadmap that leads to destination promotion being that shared value, that shared core value in each of our communities.

Community Shared Value 

Being a shared value in our destination means we are a community asset responsible for programs promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the knowledge of the destination, brand management, promotional programs, and the resulting impacts of visits by people, we strengthen the community’s economic position and vitality which provides opportunity for all the people in the destination. 

About the Author

Jack JohnsonChief Advocacy OfficerDestinations International

About the Author

Jack manages the overall public policy operations at Destinations International including member advocacy education and training, development of destination tools and best practices, coalition work with peer organizations, industry research and related public affairs activities.

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