The relationship between destination organizations and their local communities, and thus meeting planners, has evolved dramatically over the last few years. According to Destinations International, enough time has passed since the pandemic that destination leaders are beginning to understand what was transitory and what looks to be long-term transformations.

To help determine what those transformations are Destinations International, the largest association for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus, commissioned its 2023 DestinationNEXT Futures Study, one of the most extensive surveys of destination organizations around the world. First released in 2014, this year’s fifth edition marks the 10th anniversary of the industry report. MMGY NextFactor prepared the study and Destinations International Foundation underwrote the grant. More than 800 destination leaders from 62 countries responded to the survey of key tourism trends and strategies.  

The study provides a comprehensive overview of the significant trends affecting both leisure tourism and business events from around the world, as well as a list of key strategies leaders and planners can implement to help ensure the success of their organizations and destinations. For 2023, the top five trends impacting the industry’s future are heavily indexed around how destination organizations and planners are working and aligning with their communities:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent and important in the tourism industry.
  2. Visitors continue to look for unique, authentic experiences.
  3. Destination organizations are stepping up as community leaders to help address key social and economic issues in many cities.
  4. Destinations are looking at sustainability/regeneration more broadly, encompassing economic, social and environmental impacts.
  5. Greater industry, community and government alignment is driving destination competitiveness and brand.

The DestinationNEXT 2023 Futures Study attempts to codify the systemic shifts affecting the industry. According to the association, it is a strategic roadmap and global survey that helps destination leaders navigate today’s fluid visitor economy to optimize their organizations’ relevance and value.

Click here to download the report.