CLIENT: DESTINATION CLEVELAND
Services: Market Research
Destination Cleveland is a “private non-profit convention and visitors bureau whose mission is to drive economic impact and stimulate community vitality for Cleveland through memorable leisure, convention, and business travel experiences.”
And as Research Committee Chair for the Black Travel Alliance, I had the opportunity to lead our participation in Destination Cleveland’s Racial Equity & Inclusion Board Taskforce project. Along with myself as project manager, four other members of the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee ( Donna-Kay Delahaye and Gabby Beckford, Kerwin McKenzie, and Martinique Lewis) worked as consultants on the project.
Our activity through the project via MMGY Global was in two phases. The first was participation in five listening sessions, and the second was developing and analyzing data from a Racial Equity Survey with programming by MMGY Global.
Participation in Listening Sessions
- Provided input on questions to ask during the listening sessions targeted at 1) neighborhoods, 2) historians and local leaders, 3) Black & Brown hospitality business owners, and 4) Research Institutions.
- Observed four listening sessions making a note of challenges and opportunities.
- Actively participated in the Research Institutions listening session.
Development of Racial Equity Survey with Programming by MMGY Global
- Reviewed Destination Cleveland Insights and Performance Report along with Destination Cleveland website.
- Developed a Racial Equity Survey with 42 questions.
- Worked with MMGY Global to program and test the survey.
- Wrote four sequence emails (introduction and three follow-ups) to increase the response rate.
- Worked with Destination Cleveland who sent the survey to 125 Black & Brown hospitality contacts.
RESULTS: 43 Black & Brown hospitality businesses started the survey, and 33 completed it.
Based on the five listening sessions, responses to the Racial Equity Survey, as well as a review of other destination management organizations (DMO), we submitted a report with fourteen detailed recommendations in four key areas:
- Making the City of Cleveland safer and more welcoming to Black and Brown visitors (2 recommendations)
- How Destination Cleveland can become more inclusive to Black and Brown Hospitality Businesses (5 recommendations)
- Developing tourism products for marketing Cleveland (3 recommendations)
- Improving Destination Cleveland’s marketing to Black and Brown visitors (4 recommendations)
Our recommendations and those from other aspects of the project were synthesized to create Destination Cleveland’s Racial Equity & Inclusion Roadmap, which includes defined goals and KPIs for the staff and executive team.
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