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Tel Aviv, Israel (Photo: Getty)

Tourism in Transit: are DMOs and CVBs on track towards a meaningful transition for positive impact and contribution?

Tel Aviv will host the next City Destinations Alliance’s Autumn Conference “Tourism in Transit” on October 19-22, 2022.


It will be the first Conference organised under the new name of the association formerly known as European Cities Marketing. Attendees will explore where tourism is heading, whether destinations got lost in transit or if they are on the right track towards meaningful transition for positive impact and contribution.

The world is facing hyperinflation, global recession, war in Europe and rising geopolitical tensions. At the same time, people are navigating new technology with the metaverse and searching for the right platform to embark on the high speed for the net zero journey. The “Tourism in Transit” Conference will help answer questions that concern every tourism organisation: Are DMOs and CVBs on track towards a meaningful transition for positive impact and contribution? Have they transitioned alongside the landscape in which they navigate? What are the new partnerships that will fuel the destination’s futures?

The leisure and business tourism industry has been in transit for the past years – on the move, but not always with a clear view of its objectives. New roadblocks and barriers are constantly shifting routes and challenging navigation. Now, the industry is hoping to soon pass the end station of COVID, yet asking what connections were missed on the way to “Build Back Better” that left everyone with the new inconvenient truth of travel and so-called Airmageddon (aka flight delays and cancellations).

Destination marketers are sharing the stories and narratives of the places they represent. In “The missing link of destination marketing” session, Rondel Holder, Senior VP, Multicultural Content, NYC & Company, Frédérick Boutry, Night Life & LGBTQIA+ Advisor, visit.brussels and Anu Syrmä, Brand, Marketing & Communications Director, Helsinki Partners will try to answer an important question: Can and are DMOs and CVBs, actually representing, or are they still more than anything painting the glossy image of a holiday dream?

Tourism takes place where people live. Over the past many years, resident sentiment research and community engagement has become staples of destination management, but what is the true model of citizen participation and empowerment? In the “Time for DMOcracy” session, with Gerry Proctor, Chair, Engage Liverpool, Àngel Diaz, Council Member, Barcelona City and Inger-Margrethe Jensen, ReThinker, Visit Aarhus there will not only be DMOs discussing the involvement of citizens – attendees will rather hear from active citizens themselves on the influence and participation they seek, and how they view the role and partnership with the DMO.

Has social media feed also gone Metaverse Crazy? Hannah Gutkauf, Global Partner & Head of Emerging Tech, Manyone will bring the attendees into the metaverse mess of new vocabulary and opportunity confusion. What are the difficult questions that should be asked, before venturing on this technology? Attendees will then hear from one destination who has already boarded and headed down the road of NFTs and Metaverse opportunity thanks to Jonathan Gómez Punzón, Head, Málaga Tourism Board.

Participants will also get the chance to hear from Jacqui Kenny aka The Agoraphobic Traveller. Imagine traveling the world from your living room, exploring remote corners of the world – all from the safety and comfort of your home… sounds like a futuristic dream? Or a pandemic parenthesis? For Jacqui Kenny it has been both reality, escape and art. And now, her experience is shaping a new world on the edge of reality.

During the 3-day event in the non-stop city of Tel Aviv, participants will learn from the work of other destinations, help bridge the most challenging Disconnections, or think big on explorative questioning.

The programme is specifically curated for leisure and business tourism professionals. Registrations are open until October 10: https://citydestinationsalliance.eu/