In this time of global crisis and uncertainty, we put the call out to leaders, CEOs, strategists and consultants to sit down and tell us, in their own words, what is going on and what is going to happen next in this vital global industry.
My friend Dan Holowack, CEO of Crowdriff, made a prescient comment in April 2020, then the early days of the pandemic: In a world where almost every interaction we're having starts and ends on a digital device, the pace of technological change was likely to see what would have happened over 5 years of jammed into the next 18 months.
That certainly has been the case as we all got infinitely better at living in, working in and navigating a virtual world.
A year and a half later, we are likely still looking at another 18 months or so of recovery, and if that's the case and you use Dan’s math, the changes we would have faced over the next decade will have basically been jammed into a 36-month crash course.
This rapid advance of technology affects not just how we do business but how we live our lives: remote working, grocery shopping, entertainment, travel, banking, medical services, health and wellness, employment — the list goes on. All of these domains have been drastically altered over the last 18 months, and they are not going back to what they were before.
Change is a constant, now more than ever, and my next guest is no stranger to either change or challenge. He's worked in the airline industry and hotel industry, he's managed world-class destinations and today he heads up one of the largest and most respected tourism industry associations in the world.
In 2016, Don Welsh joined what was then named Destination Marketing Association International and has led a team since that has not only rebranded but reinvented Destinations International.
I've had the great pleasure working with Don over the past five years both as a board member and a peer, and I can say without reservation that I am incredibly grateful for the work he is championing at Destinations International.
Long before COVID, DI was focused on the relevance of destination marketing organizations and the idea of re-establishing those organizations in the context of community values. Powerful stuff, and an essential part of my own personal model for sustainable destination development.