CVBs Seek Solutions to Rising Violent Crime in Their Communities

The Destinations International Foundation will develop best practices, which will be released a white paper on the topic this fall.  

Photo Credit: Tomasz Zajda

In response to the global rise in violent crime, particularly in the U.S, the Destinations International Foundation, the research arm of Destinations International, is tackling the issue by developing best practices for CVBs to help their communities respond to the crisis.    

According to a comprehensive blog from DI's chief advocacy officer, Jack Johnson, “The causes and solutions of violent crime are many and not always easy to deduce. And it is fair to say that both the causes and traditional solutions fall outside of a destination organization’s wheelhouse. This is clearly not an area where destination organizations should be expected to play a leading role. We will leave that to the experts on crime and its causes. But this is something that affects our communities and therefore, our brand, our product and let’s face it, our home. We may not have a leading role, but we have a supporting role in our community’s response and in the development of solutions.” 

As part of its 2022 Significant Issues and Opportunities Challenge, DI's foundation rolled out a six-month plan in April to address the issue and formulate guidance for CVBs. So far, the group has hosted conversations among destination organization professionals about violent crime and how it is affecting their communities. According to Johnson, the foundation is also getting input from affiliated organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  

The conversations aim to identify where violent crime intersects with a destination’s reputation and operations, and to look for roles consistent with the strengths of the destination organization and its ability to contribute to a CVB community effort. According to Johnson, “This will pull from our focus on advocacy, where we use our collective voice to elevate and advance the mission, goals and efforts of destination organizations. And where we address problems and issues on both a local and global level through member education, industry mobilization and public-policy advancement.” 

Research and education are also part of the plan. During DI's annual convention, which takes place July 18-21 in Toronto, 60 CVB leaders, business partners and members of DI’s 30 Under 30 program will meet to discuss ideas and solutions, analyze strategies, and help DI staff formulate a policy agenda on violent crime. Additionally, a general education session, "Are You Concerned About Violent Crime in Your Destination? So Are We!", will take place during the conference.

Following the six months of conversations, research and input gathered in these various steps, the DI foundation aims to roll out best practices, new guidelines and benchmarks for CVBs, and an industry white paper in the fall.