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.

In 2017 the headline for Wonderful Copenhagen’s destination strategy boldly proclaimed,
“Wonderful Copenhagen concludes the end of tourism as we know it.” 

It went on to say, “...we pay our respect to the tourists of the past, the mass consumers and the passing days of disconnected tourism segmentation between business and leisure, city and countryside, culture and cycling. We bid farewell to an era of tourism as an isolated industry bubble of culture and leisure experts. We leave behind the days of equating tourism marketing with glossy, picture-perfect advertising. We recognize the expiration of our role as the destinations promotional superstars, the official destination marketing organization with authoritative consumer influence, broadcasting superiority and an exclusive right to promote and shape a destination.”

So then, if 2017 marked the end of tourism as we know it in Copenhagen, then what would come next? Their answer - LOCALHOOD for everyone.

The end of tourism postcard

My guest today was a driving force on the team that penned and then put into practice that bold and disruptive plan.

In 2017, Signe Jungersted was the Director of Development at Wonderful Copenhagen. Today she is the CEO at Group NAO, a global innovation company committed to transforming organizations and destinations through insights, ideas, projects, strategies and transformative agendas. Today, Signe speaks all over the world on the future of tourism and the opportunities and challenges we face as an industry, as destinations and as citizens and travelers.

So what does the end of tourism as we know it and the rise of localhood really mean?

“The idea of declaring the end of tourism and inviting this new era of localhood was just as much based on all the other shifts and changes that were happening [in the industry] like the empowered consumer with [sophisticated] digital means and the shift from being a destination marketing organization that could just broadcast message and be the authority on a place, to the shift where everyone has their phone with them and they can access any kind of information and they can produce information at any time,“ says Signe. “The role of the DMO, the way that we travel, the way that we experience and access a destination, all that had changed. So that was really also part of the motivation for coming out with a strategy like this.” 

"Localhood is for everyone..."

Signe adds, “Localhood is for everyone and of course that involves residents (and travelers), and so it's all about the balance between the two.”

When we look at the concept of community-shared values that Jack Johnson has championed and the groundbreaking work that DestinationNext brought to the forefront in terms of the impending necessity for stakeholder engagement, it is clear and uncontested that both will play an essential role in the future of successful destinations. Signe Jungersted, Wonderful Copenhagen, Group NAO and a handful of destinations and leaders around the world are already hard at work developing the processes, tools and implementations to make this happen.

The future is here, look around, find yours today and let’s get to work!


Photo by Ava Coploff on Unsplash