If you have been getting communications about the CVB’s upcoming Annual Meeting on Aug. 24, you already know that we’re beginning a 13-month Destination Strategic Plan (DSP) project with consulting firm JLL.

The DSP will be a comprehensive undertaking, and JLL has already begun their work. They have been meeting with initial focus groups comprised of CVB staff, local leaders and tourism stakeholders and will be collecting input from many others around the county the week of the Annual Meeting.

To set the stage for the DSP, early this year, the Bureau conducted a baseline assessment through Destination International's (DI) DestinationNEXT initiative. DI surveyed a sampling of local stakeholders to determine how they believe Raleigh and Wake County are performing across 20 industry variables of destination strength and community support. The results of that DestinationNEXT research was presented to partners in a Town Hall Meeting in Feb.

Here where the assessment tool respondents believe Raleigh, N.C., is performing well: 

Convention and meeting facilities

  • Necessary facilities to compete today
  • Good, unique-off-site venues for special events
  • Abundance of professional and experienced convention services suppliers  

Air access

  • Domestic air access in terms of number of flights and capacity
  • Domestic air access in terms of carriers and low-cost options
  • Airport is a state-of-the-art facility with capacity to grow
  • Airport offers a true destination “sense of place”

Sports and recreation facilities

  • Sports fields to host major amateur and collegiate sports events
  • Destination has the venues to host major sports events
  • Sports leadership is engaged/helpful in pursuing sports events

Communication and infrastructure

  • Industry uses and leverages social media to support the brand


  • Known for being safe, clean and secure for visitors
  • Known as being healthy and an outdoor, active city
  • Known as a high-tech, innovative city 

Destination performance

  • CVB adequately measures and tracks the performance of our tourism industry
  • Communicating the performance/economic impact of our tourism industry
  • Positive growth in overnight visitation

Next week, we will tell you what the DestinationNEXT assessment told us about engagement and advocacy and where our opportunities are.

Again, the DSP will broaden the scope of the research and get a much deeper assessment of how Wake County is performing as a destination and how we need to plan for the future.

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Add your responses in the comments below. 

By the way, you can still get tickets for the Annual Meeting here.