Actionable Advocacy Insights for the Tourism Industry: Communicating the Value of Tourism

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The Actionable Advocacy Insights (AAI) is a five-part series designed to help tourism industry leaders improve their advocacy planning efforts. Based on research conducted by Dr. Whitney Knollenberg of NC State and Dr. Ashley Schroeder of the University of South Carolina, the AAI series provides evidence-based strategies for advocacy planning. It’s never been more important for the tourism industry to engage in advocacy, but advocacy efforts require planning and the strategic use of resources.

U.S. Map with destination points and airplanes with flight trackers behind showing their travel pat

Communicating the Value of Tourism

The first in the series, Communicating the Value of Tourism, focuses on the need to adopt a universal definition of advocacy within tourism organizations. To accomplish this, 26 interviews of state-level destination and advocacy association leaders were analyzed, indicating advocacy should be defined as “communicating the value of tourism to stakeholders.” Beyond providing this definition, the first AAI in the series offers a short, mid, and long-term strategy for tourism leaders to start implementing this definition of advocacy in their planning efforts.

Communicating the Value of Tourism is available as a downloadable PowerPoint file for tourism leaders to integrate into presentations for internal (e.g., staff and board members) and external (e.g., potential advocacy partners) stakeholders. Presenter notes are provided, and the presentation features a “Conversation Starters” slide with questions presenters can use to initiate conversations with their audience around the definition of advocacy.

Subsequent AAI topics that will be released soon include:

  • Involving a Broad and Diverse Range of Stakeholders in Advocacy
  • The Perceived Effectiveness of Advocacy Strategies
  • Identifying Resources to Advocate for Tourism
  • Perceived Obstacles to Advocacy Efforts in Tourism

Keep up to date with Tourism Extension and the newest AAI topics by following us on Twitter @NCExtTourism and NC State Tourism Extension on Facebook.

This research was funded by American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), and supported by Southeast Tourism Society (STS).

Research Contacts:

Whitney Knollenberg, Ph.D.
North Carolina State University
 Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D.
Destination Analysts