Thank you to everyone who attended GRCVB's Annual Meeting last month. As always, the gathering is an opportunity to celebrate the past year’s success and look forward to upcoming opportunities for our destination.

This year’s Annual Meeting was a milestone in our Destination Strategic Plan (DSP) process, the execution of which we're calling "Destination 2028." Dan Fenton, director of global tourism and destination development services for JLL and the project lead, presented a high-level summary of the final report (the full report is available at In addition to highlighting some of the key areas where county stakeholders can work together to increase overnight visitation, he also stressed that the issuance of the report is only the beginning.

While Destination 2028 sets a blueprint for what Wake County can and should do to better distinguish ourselves as a destination and reach the ambitious visitation goals we have set forth, our work toward a better destination has only just begun.​Annual meeting communityJLL built the priorities, themes and direction of the project in collaboration with GRCVB, our communities and our destination partners. They did so knowing that—at the end of the day—it will be up to our destination community to bring the vision to life. As the plan notes, some of the “action items” will be the responsibility of one organization or a small number of organizations; for others, the initiative and putting areas of the plan into motion will take a concerted effort of several tourism-invested partners countywide.

As the destination marketing organization for Raleigh/Wake County, GRCVB will be the “lead” on many of the activities recommended by the plan. For other initiatives, GRCVB will be a resource or will advocate for and support others in carrying out tasks. Now that the “visioning” and creation part of the process is finished, the fun and work to act on the vision starts.

Later this month, JLL will return to the area to join GRCVB leadership in meeting with the individual municipalities and key implementation partners to begin discussing how we will work together to ensure the plan doesn’t just sit on a shelf.

  • For the 12 municipalities, JLL will present the individual town plans so that we can begin a dialogue on how the Bureau and other destination partners work with the towns to engage each in the overall goals of realizing Destination 2028. Together we will also work to ensure that each town leverages the insights of the DSP to strengthen its own tourism product and infrastructure to the highest and best uses.
  • For hospitality and tourism partners—like the key attractors, venues and specifically-cited visitor industries—GRCVB is beginning the dialogue on how best to act on the new ideas and aspirational goals JLL set forth, based on a year's worth of research, toward reaching Destination 2028.

Stay tuned...