Destinations International Announces Robust Expansion in Global Membership

July 24, 2023

Destinations International (DI), the leading global resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), recently announced significant growth in its membership. The organization now represents 26 countries and territories, with more than 700 members worldwide. 

The announcement was made on July 18 at the Destinations International Annual Convention by DI President and CEO Don Welsh, who highlighted the importance of a strong member community and the power of travel in fostering connections across the globe.

“Destinations International exists for the sole benefit of our members, and everything we do is to support their efforts in their communities,” Welsh said. “We all realized both during and post-pandemic that there is much to be gained by a global membership engaging and collaborating with one another.”

He continued, “Our organization believes in the power of travel, and having a strong member community around the world allows destination leaders to engage with and learn from one another to enrich the lives of the people who live, work and travel within their destinations.”

Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore and DI board chair, welcomed the organization’s newest global members, the Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia and Istanbul, Türkiye (Turkey), and expressed enthusiasm about DI’s growing presence beyond the U.S.

“Destinations International has long been a recognized name in the United States, but with a more focused engagement strategy in certain areas of the world, we are seeing more momentum in places such as Canada, Latin America, Europe and now Saudi Arabia,” Hutchinson said. “By pulling in the right partners and setting the stage for more robust and localized conversations, we have grown interest and membership around the globe.”

DI’s current global membership comprises countries and territories including Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, the U.K., the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia, the first member from the Middle East, expressed excitement about joining Destinations International and becoming the first accredited destination organization in the region. 

“We are delighted to be the first member of Destinations International from the Middle East and looking forward to becoming the first accredited destination organization from the region as part of this auspicious association,” said Phillip Jones, Royal Commission for AlUla chief tourism officer. “While we have roots stretching back 200,000 years, the ancient desert city of AlUla is a new destination for many, and Saudi Arabia is new to tourism. To that end, this membership will be invaluable to our entire team as we continue to strive for best practices and build our destination sustainably and with purpose.”

Additionally, DI has expanded its European Pathfinders program by welcoming ten new destinations this year, bringing the total number of members to 20. Comprising forward-thinking European destination leaders dedicated to addressing key issues faced by destination organizations, the program’s current membership includes the following convention and visitors bureaus and destination marketing organizations:

  • Antwerp & Partners Convention Bureau
  • Athens Development and Destination Management Agency
  • Budapest Convention Bureau
  • Destination Fyn
  • East Sweden Convention Bureau
  • Event Wales, Welsh Government
  • Fáilte Ireland
  • Geneva Tourisme & Convention Foundation
  • Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Liverpool City Council (Marketing Liverpool)
  • Malmö Convention Bureau
  • NewcastleGateshead Initiative
  • The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
  • Tourisme Veluwe Arnhem Nijmegen
  • Turisme de Barcelona/Ajuntament de Barcelona
  • Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency
  • Visit Oulu
  • Visit Rovaniemi
  • VisitScotland
  • Wonderful Copenhagen, Copenhagen Convention Bureau

“We are incredibly proud of our membership growth over the past few years,” Welsh said. “Whether it’s connecting with peers, finding the latest industry research or taking advantage of continuous learning, Destinations International members have a variety of ways to further their industry knowledge, which in turn, elevates tourism to its highest potential.”

Boasting more than 7,500 members and partners from more than 700 destinations, Destinations International serves as a valuable platform for destination organizations worldwide, promoting collaboration and innovation within the industry. To learn more, go here


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