“I thought it was amazing, quite frankly. Destination Think put on an event that, for me, was time well spent. […] It’s critically important to meet C-level executives in the industry who talk about how they do what they do in their part of the world.”

-Hugh Riley, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer at Caribbean Tourism Organization

Innovative destination leaders from around the world met at Destination Think Forum in New York City in October to discuss their greatest tourism challenges.

Two days of inspiring, valuable discussion and collaboration produced insights that will help destinations build new strategies to keep the role of their organizations relevant in a rapidly shifting industry.

Destination Think Forum 2016

Forum 2016 delegates gathered for the opening keynote presentation by Brian Solis.

 

Forum’s participants brought strategic expertise and experience to the event from destinations spanning five continents, including Sweden, Palau, Greenland, Aruba, Queensland, British Columbia, Amsterdam, Seville, Medellín, Cleveland and Tel Aviv. The global, yet intimate atmosphere created a space for executives to make personal connections, find common ground and learn from the group’s collective knowledge.

Forum 2016 topics and program

Forum began with an inspiring keynote presentation from futurist Brian Solis, who urged leaders to unlearn old behaviour in an effort to iterate, innovate and disrupt their business models. The two-day Forum program was designed around four critical themes:

Brian Solis at Forum 2016

Brian Solis, Futurist and Principal Analyst, Altimeter

Profit and Planet: A new way of thinking about the supply chain. Can you see problems as solutions?

Cost and Revenue: New ideas imply new business models. Can you apply creativity to rethink the way you produce revenue?

Product and Promotion: Develop what you promote and promote what you develop. Are you equipped to create experiences?

Collaboration and Community: People, not product, are your most important assets. Can you market a destination and attract visitors without engaging residents?

Forum 2016 Cost and Revenue panel

Forum 2016 Cost and Revenue panelists

Each theme served as a launch pad for group discussion and collaboration. Panelists and speakers introduced the challenges surrounding each topic within their areas of expertise. After each panel, participants worked together in small, pre-selected groups to share insights, brainstorm, and outline solutions to the core challenges presented.

Each set of groups was chosen specifically for its diversity of expertise and perspectives on each subject. This way, participants connected with and learned from new destination leaders during each session. Click to see more photos from the event.

Destination Think Forum 2016 collaboration

Eduard Pieter Oud, Chief Operating Officer at Amsterdam Marketing, leads discussion during a Forum collaboration session.

Introducing the Leading your destination into the future whitepaper

Forum’s successful collaborations revealed new solutions to common problems. The Destination Think team has curated and analyzed insights from Forum 2016 participants to create a comprehensive strategic document brimming with destination marketing leadership expertise. To find out how today’s leading DMOs are learning to stay relevant in a changing world, look no further:

Click to download the whitepaper.

“It’s not often that you get a chance to talk to colleagues at that level, at the same time and get the experiences from different destinations, and I think that’s the highlight […] getting this chance to network with colleagues from all over.”

-Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir, Chief Executive Officer at Icelandic Tourist Board; Vice President at European Travel Commission

Forum 2016 attendees from destinations around the world gathered in New York City.

 

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