What if the world’s destination marketers gathered to solve tourism’s greatest challenges together?

That’s exactly what happened at Destination Think Forum 2016 in New York City. We’re pleased to share valuable insights from Forum participants in this comprehensive, strategic white paper: Leading your destination into the future: 4 critical trends addressed by destination marketing leaders.

Download the “Leading your destination into the future” white paper.

Destination Think Forum 2016

Forum participants discuss “Profit and Planet” during a collaboration session.

This white paper is the result of two days of inspiring, focused discussion and collaboration at Forum. Participants represented destinations within Australia, South Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, the Caribbean and South Pacific islands. They discussed the following four topics in a series of panel discussions and collaboration sessions:

The insights produced at Forum will help destinations build new strategies to keep the role of their organizations relevant in a rapidly shifting industry.

Tools for your 2017 destination strategy

How can destination marketers understand the big-picture strategies outlined by the participants as part of a greater story? Destination Think Chief Strategist WIlliam Bakker distills the four trends into an optimistic vision for the future of destination marketing that takes into account the challenges and opportunities discussed.

Use this white paper to inform your destination’s planning for 2017 and beyond. We intend this to stimulate discussion within DMOs and assist leaders as they adapt to the disruption affecting tourism in their destinations.

As Bakker says:

“The future of destination marketing is bright. But like everything else, change is hard. This conference was the perfect forum for DMOs around the world, in all shapes and sizes, to discuss these challenges, share learning and collaborate to find the best solutions. Because it doesn’t matter if you represent a small town or a large nation, if you’re in Europe or Australia, the challenges are the same.

By addressing these challenges collectively, we will improve the quality of life for our citizens and give our guests memories to last a lifetime. The world will be better for our efforts.”

Click here to download the “Leading your destination into the future” white paper.


  1. susan

    Do you have specific research or insights into how DMOs are engaging leaders from outside the industry to help shape or support DMO marketing and future promotional efforts?

    • David Archer

      Hi Susan, our team definitely has insights here. Our Place DNA process, for example, invites people beyond tourism to participate in uncovering their destination’s identity – what makes the destination distinct, in other words. That identity informs branding, promotion, experience development and many other DMO projects. Here’s an example from Campbell River: https://destinationthink.com/case-study-campbell-river-rebranded-itself-inside-out/

      The most progressive DMOs are thinking about their destinations holistically like you’re suggesting. It’s a shift toward destination management, which requires lots of collaboration. You might be interested in reading about New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty as well: https://destinationthink.com/the-love-of-tourism-bay-of-plenty/

      Great question, thanks for reaching out.


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