It gives me great pleasure to present the annual ECM report of activities 2021. In the recent hard times, we especially felt that we need to keep responding to our members’ needs immediately and effectively, more than ever. Insight, analysis, surveys, trend talks, webinars, virtual events… ECM has provided a unique and essential source of information throughout the whole 2021. We have put together the #PowerOfCommunity series to support each other, we invited several experts to share and we and created solutions, while maintaining our current tools and reports and adapting our events online.
We as citizens of this planet face immense global challenges: climate crisis, biodiversity loss, species extinction, health crisis, urbanization, digitalization, limits of economic growth. As ECM, we acknowledge that cities – along with politics, private organizations, and the civil society – need to take responsibility, now.
We believe that European cities have the potential to play a key role for an inspiring, inclusive and positive transformation towards an economy and society that respects the planetary boundaries and works towards a more resilient future.
As ECM, we want to support and positively contribute to the development of the DMOs of tomorrow as well as to enable the development of sustainable urban tourism destinations. We have joined forces with our long-time partner GDSM to launch the Global Destination Sustainability Academy, aiming to catalyse mindsets and develop skill sets to lead a more regenerative tourism and events industry.
To go on the extra mile, we also decided at the end of last year to be a signatory of the Glasgow declaration. As supporting organisation, we will play a multiplier role, assisting our members or followers to accelerate climate action, for example through advocacy, support, mobilization, incentivization, and education to encourage alignment with the Declaration.
Light is at the end of the tunnel, but the journey towards it seems long. Among all those challenges, ECM is standing bright and still, with 116 members and a retention rate of 96%. You will find in this report how fruitful was ECM in 2021; although we could not meet in person until September, we had a very intense year in terms of interaction and a significant amount of knowledge exchanges.
Generally speaking, all of our Knowledge Groups have intensified their frequency of meetings, driven by this common need to understand and to overtake the situation we are in and to keep the connection with European colleagues. I would particularly like to welcome the creation of the new Knowledge Group Trend Room, aiming to bring ECM to the very forefront of trends and innovations in the urban cityscape. The idea is to develop an in-house trend watching hub where thought leaders find each other to discuss the future of cities and the visitor economy. The Knowledge Group will help members develop new strategies for the future. You have already received some newsletters or maybe attended the Trend Talks sessions?
And the journey is not over… One important item in the coming months is to re-assess the brand identity of the organisation. It is of utmost importance to align ECM’s brand and name with the paradigm of Europe’s urban visitor and experience economies in general, and the strategic missions of DMOs in particular.
Thanks go to the ECM Board members who have given their time and expertise unstintingly for the good of the association, remaining agile in those troubled times. Their leadership and insight have continued to professionalise our network and led to keep in implementing and adapting our new strategy 2019-2022 which forms the strategic framework for our diligent and professional Head Office team.
Thanks also goes to you, all ECM fellow members, who bring insights, experience and excellence to the community and make our motto become reality! Sharing is at the core of ECM, and it is our firm belief that sharing inspiration, insights and experiences will be key to pulling through this crisis – together. Looking forward to continuing building our common future with you in 2022!
MEET. SHARE. GROW.