When we look for inspiration and ideas that will help us develop, manage and optimize the success and sustainability of our own destinations, we often look to Europe. More than a decade ago, their early work on overtourism highlighted the need for a more engaged network of destination stakeholders who prioritized ensuring that tourism was a restorative and not a depleting force. 

After the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, these insights further informed a lot of great work on how to build resilient local stakeholder and citizen networks to help harness the restorative power of tourism.

When I think of CityDNA (formerly European Cities Marketing), I see more than just a conventional industry association. It’s a dynamic network builder and a catalytic force for good. It stands as a hub of the best ideas and content and an incubator in the classic sense.

Take, for example, CityDNA’s seven knowledge groups, the core of the organization. Knowledge groups are expert teams of members who step up to tackle the most pressing challenges in tourism development and sustainability. They discuss ideas, identify best practices, prepare reports, conduct surveys, and share them with their membership bi-annually. 

Pablo Ortega Novillo is the head of promotion for the tourism offices of Catalunya in Spain. He is co-chair of the CityDNA Tourist Information Centres Knowledge Group. 

Adil Abbach is the managing director of hospitality and products with amsterdam&partners and a Tourist Information Centres Knowledge Group member. 

Let’s dive in.

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