For the past 10 years, the Miles
Global Allstars session has become a hallmark of the Destinations International
convention. The goal of the session was to spotlight impactful conversations
from across the globe and create a platform for sharing new ideas.
Moderated by Chris Adams, Head
of Research & Insights, Miles Partnership; and Elena Prostova, Vice
President, New Business Development, Miles Partnership; the July 14 session
took a look at how four very different destinations approached different challenges
created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three themes of the session were recovery, innovation and
Iceland made news as one of the global leaders in reopening its
borders. Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir, Head, Visit Iceland, pointed to both early
and efficient contact tracing, along with high vaccination rates, as measures
that helped the country become a global leader in reopening.
One question that she addressed during
her presentation was, how did you adapt marketing during the pandemic? “It’s a challenge to market when
people can’t travel,” she said. “We tried to understand their mindset.”
Their answer was the “Let it Out”
campaign, which was covered by more than 800 media outlets and gained billions
of views. Individuals were invited to record their screams, which would then be
played via speakers throughout Iceland. More information can be found here: https://lookslikeyouneediceland.com.
Over the past decade, Guðmundsdóttir
said Icleand has experienced rapid growth in tourism, and is now being seen as
a year-round destination. No longer are the summer months considered the only
time to visit this Nordic nation.
Now, as the country welcomes tourists,
a new campaign used a bit of empathy and humor: encouraging visitors to bring
their sweatpants and have them turned into boots! The popular campaign is
currently fully booked, but more information can be found here: sweatpantboots.com.
Head of Sustainability, Göteborg & Co, provided the audience a look at how
this Swedish city is focused on becoming a truly sustainable destination by
2030. “You should always feel at home and
welcome here in Göteborg,” she said.
Among the initiatives she discussed were the importance of being a
walkable city, and the development of plastic-free water solutions.
The organization also created https://www.101sustainableideas.com, a digital platform where were destination
organizations can gather and share ideas with their colleagues from around the
Chang Chee Pey, Assistant
Chief Executive, International Group, Singapore Tourism Board, spoke about how
the city has responded to the pandemic, and their continued work to become more
Prior to COVID-19, Pey
said that Singapore was one of the world’s most visited cities. The pandemic’s
impact was immediate, with an 86 percent decline in visitors.
Since then, he said
businesses have gotten creative with partnerships, and focused on safe
management measures to keep visitors safe. These included managing group sizes
and ways that social activities and interactions can continue safely.
The board also created a
tool to assist meeting planners, an Event Industry
Resilience Roadmap (IRR). This resource can be found here: https://www.visitsingapore.com/mice/en/plan-your-event/event-industry-resilience-roadmap.
In addition to these three video
presentations from international innovators, Adams and Prostova moderated a
conversation with Rolando Aedo, Chief Operating
Officer, Greater Miami CVB, and Jay Burress, President & CEO, Visit
The group covered a lot of ground, including how to focus on
rebuilding, greater community involvement and building awareness about outdoor
Burress spoke about how different
tourism organizations came together, rather than competing with one another.
The organization created the Visit Anaheim Destination Update which he said was
used to show the community that “there would be good news coming.”
Aedo spoke about how his organization
looked for opportunities to reintroduce their city. Marketing campaigns focused
on national parks, rather than the city’s restaurants and nightlife.
“Many didn’t even know that Miami had
these parks,” said Aedo.
More information on this annual
session, along with powerpoint presentations, can be found at www.milespartnership.com/GAS. ■