Beginning this month, we will be devoting one monthly Tourism Talk blog post to an update on the work of the Wake County Destination Strategic Plan's (DSP's) implementation, Destination 2028.

However, this week's update is an important demarcation in the DSP project. As we have been telling you, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the consulting company which conducted the research for the plan and distilled it into the DSP report is officially passing the work off to us here in Wake County.

The JLL team was in town last week, meeting with a number of key groups and most of our municipalities on the specific parts of the DSP which pertain to them. Now that that's done, other than being available for consultation from time to time, JLL is passing the baton to us here.

Since the GRCVB Annual Meeting, our staff has been dissecting the plan and creating clear lines of responsibility for ourselves as well as our hospitality partners and stakeholders who will share in each priority. The Blue Ribbon Task Force has assembled and is ready to give direction to the on-the-ground work to be done.

In the meantime, we have taken the final DSP report, 153 pages worth, and moved it from the JLL-hosted site to a subsection on whose URL is

To try to make the plan more digestible, we have divided the eight recommended priorities into separate documents and linked them from the new DSP page. And here's what we suggest to our partners:

  • If you are a hotel partner, hotel developer or another area stakeholder in the convention business, you will be interested in Priority 1: Meetings and Conventions. The DSP concentrates much time here on further optimizing Raleigh Convention Center, the targeting of specific convention and meeting groups and developing all meeting districts countywide; you would be wise to be in the know about this part of the plan.
  • If you are a sports tourism stakeholder or area sports venue partner, for example, we would encourage you to become familiar with Priority 2: Sports in Wake County. The plan calls for a well-managed, countywide sports cluster model as well as the addition of new facilities in the county, plus it contains criteria for how, why and where new venues might be built around the area and then maintained for arriving sports groups/tournaments.
  • If you're an arts, culture or museums partner, look for Priority 4: Key Attractors and Priority 5: Individual Leisure for where your industries fit into the recommended scope of DSP implementation. Or if you produce a leisure tourism event or provide funding for the tourism event organizers in our area, go to Priority 3: Events for what the plan says about how to drive more overnight visitation and how to otherwise increase the economic impact for Wake County of events you are or will be producing/sponsoring in the future.
  • Each of the implementation priorities can be unpacked individually, and in some cases, more than one of them can be applied to you and the tourism-related work you do within our local economy.

In addition to the eight priority downloads, you will find the other sections of the DSP on such as JLL's Background and Current Situational Analysis informing the overall plan. Check the Back Matter link for implementation funding, tourism tax and GRCVB-related implications. Plan appendices, such as results of the DSP's stakeholder and meeting planner surveys, are quite eye-opening.

As the Destination 2028 implementation starts to take definitive shape and the results start happening, you can come back to over the next 10 years to see how the county is progressing and how you might become a bigger part of our strategic success.

And continue to watch for updates and calls to participate in the future of Wake County tourism in upcoming Tourism Talk posts.