If we say ‘tourism builds community,’ how do we prove it?

In 2023, the Destinations International (DI) advocacy team released an industry brief examining the potential to frame destination promotion as a community shared value — a common good no less vital to community health than clean drinking water or effective public education. 

According to the brief, destination promotion — like any other community shared value — must “stand behind a series of metrics or indicators that help inform the community of not only its purpose, but also how well the common good performed and how it benefited the community.” Read the full brief here.

Recognizing the work Zartico has done to make destination data accessible and frame destination strategy according to global community standards, DI embarked on a partnership to curate and communicate this emerging set of community indicators.

Innovative destination leadership in the New York Adirondacks

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) in northeastern New York has a challenging assignment — to promote and manage visitation to more than two dozen towns, villages, and wilderness areas spread across a region the size of Massachusetts.

This rural region leans heavily on its outdoor recreation offerings and decades-long reputation as a convenient getaway for nature-lovers. (The Adirondacks are within a day’s drive of 25% of the North American population.) One of ROOST’s seven distinct brands uses the slogan “Small Towns — Big Outdoors,” a fitting descriptor of the visitor experience.

ROOST has developed creative ways to engage stakeholders scattered across a broad geography. As a result, their innovative efforts exemplify the power of the first five community indicators identified by Zartico and DI.

Download the report:

Destination Promotion as a Community Shared Value

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This first joint report digs into the innovative ways ROOST engages with the region’s many communities to measure, articulate, and advance the value of what they provide.

Download the report

Hear from ROOST

Watch ROOST Director of Digital Strategy Jasen Lawrence as he shares some of the organization’s efforts to engage residents and business owners.

 

How ROOST stays in touch with the community

ROOST’s regional managers maintain a daily presence in each of the communities the organization promotes. They connect with stakeholders and attend community meetings, looking for opportunities to facilitate growth and vibrancy within the visitor economy.

 

What can stakeholders do with our data?

To create ROOST’s stakeholder reports, the research team sifted through all the available data points to choose the ones that their audience would be most likely to put into action.

 

Different brands for different experiences

Maintaining seven distinct brands requires a lot of work — the team includes four full-time web developers and four content writers. But it’s effective in connecting visitors with the Adirondack experience they’re looking for.

Lodging Pacing: See where you’re going

Would you drive a car with no windshield and only a rearview mirror to guide you? This is exactly how destination leaders have been navigating market changes for decades — but no longer.

Look up to six months into the future, understanding upcoming changes in demand, stay value, and length of stay. Pinpoint high and low visitation periods and plan for them in advance. Develop marketing strategies to influence future bookings, and measure the impact of your efforts.

  • Future bookings vs. past performance
  • Trends in stay value and market importance among top 10 feeder markets
  • 30- and 90-day heatmaps show upcoming busy or slow periods at a glance
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What's Next

In the coming months, Destinations International and Zartico will announce a new way for destinations across the globe to understand how they are engaging with these critical areas of community value. This destination promotion community index will invite destination organizations to examine and compare their performance.

Look for our session at the DI Annual Convention in Tampa this July!

Ready to unlock lodging insights for your destination? Talk to our team today.

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Ready to unlock lodging insights for your destination? Talk to our team today.