Image: Jim McCaul, Vice President, Destination Development

Quad Cities (April 2019)Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official Destination Management Organization (DMO), is initiating a comprehensive process that will yield a Quad Cities Vision and Strategic Plan for the regional destination.  The process officially kicks-off this week and will take 6-8 months to complete.  Resonance Consultancy was selected as the partner that will work closely with the community to develop a long-range plan for the region.

In addition, the strategic plan will entail an assessment of the Quad Cities and where it needs to be competitively positioned for the future in the tourism space.  Visit Quad Cities is collaborating with its diverse set of stakeholders and with the Q2030 Regional Action plan.

With offices located in New York and Vancouver, Resonance is a global leader in tourism, economic development, place strategy, place branding and real estate development.

Resonance has successfully produced Tourism Strategy work for Travel Portland; Tourism Vancouver; Visit Tulsa; Tourism Montreal; Tourism Calgary; Destination Cleveland; Cincinnati USA; Bellevue, Washington; Snohomish County, Washington; and many others.  Resonance is currently engaged in work with Los Angeles, Calif., Metro Tucson, Ariz., Richmond, Va., and San Luis Obispo County, Calif. Information on Resonance can be found at www.resonanceco.com.

Resonance has designed the Quad Cities destination vision and strategy project to include extensive stakeholder and community engagement, and a dedicated Steering Committee to provide leadership and guidance throughout the entire process.  Also, like their previous projects, Resonance expects this effort will deliver important long-term change in how the Quad Cities builds, manages and markets its tourism destination product.

“We are at the right time in our region’s story to engage one of the best teams in the world to help create a long-range, comprehensive and, what we believe will be a transformative vision and plan for our unique regional destination,” said Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities.  “This project will be well thought out, a team-based approach and an opportunity to look in the mirror and window to our future.”

As developed economies have shifted rapidly from a manufacturing orientation to services and technology in the latter half of the 20th century, geographic factors have become less important in determining the economic success of cities, regions, states and countries.  Today, it is increasingly the perceived quality of place that determines where talent, capital and travel and tourism flow.

What is it that attracts people to one place versus another?  Research by Resonance has shown that what attracts people to places to live is increasingly aligned with the very same factors that make places attractive to visit.  Among them:  the quality of the natural environment, parks and open spaces, the diversity of people, the variety of restaurants and nightlife, and the quality of arts and culture.  These assets, and many others, shape the perception and identity of places in the minds of people as they consider and evaluate places to live, visit or invest.

“Resonance Consultancy is looking forward to working with Visit Quad Cities to help the region and its stakeholders understand its key competitive advantages—and weaknesses,” says Resonance Consultancy President & CEO Chris Fair.  “Our collaboration with the community will build the foundation to create a Destination Strategic Plan to guide the planning, product development, programming, policy and promotion of the Quad Cities’ tourism industry and the vast economic benefits it generates.”

Resonance Consultancy will create a Tourism Master Plan, destination development strategies, marketing strategies, and management plans that will shape the future of the Quad Cities.  Resonance’s approach to creating the region’s Destination Strategic Plan is rooted in thoroughly understanding consumer travel trends, defining the aspirations of both current and prospective future consumers, benchmarking the Quad Cities against its competitive set, and creating a market-leading strategic plan for the region.

Two of Resonance’s top individuals will be leading the Quad Cities project.  Richard Cutting-Miller, Executive Vice President, and Jim McCaul, Vice President, Destination Development.

Richard Cutting-Miller has produced more than 50 Strategic Plans for tourism-focused economies (national, state and municipal) ranging from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to South Carolina, the Former Soviet Union, the Caribbean, and Montenegro.

A 25-year travel industry veteran, Richard was executive vice president for the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and played a principal role in shaping and directing the organization’s policy agenda, research program, communications and membership services.

During his 16-year tenure with WTTC, Richard traveled worldwide, consulting and speaking on the topic of travel and tourism economics, policy and advocacy, and produced more than 100 strategy and policy projects for regions such as the Caribbean, the Mercosur and APEC, and countries as diverse as China, Montenegro, Qatar, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Namibia and South Africa.  In total, Richard has worked in 64 countries and more than 350 cities.

Prior to joining WTTC, Richard served as a management consultant for Deloitte & Touche in New York. As a member of the firm’s Travel & Leisure industry practice, he managed a number of travel and tourism consulting projects, including the Strategic Plan for Tourism for the State of Hawaii.

Jim McCaul has an extensive background in the travel and tourism industry and a wealth of knowledge about how destination marketing organizations can position themselves to be champions in their communities.

For Resonance, he manages destination development planning, programs and resources that support clients’ goals to provide value to tourism industry stakeholders and enhance quality of life for communities.

Prior to joining Resonance, Jim held senior positions with Destinations International, the global trade association for destination marketing organizations.  Most recently, Jim served as Vice President of Destination Development & Advocacy, where he was responsible for executing destination management and public policy operations, including advocacy education and training, development of destination tools and best practices, industry research, and related public affairs activities.  He also helped lead the ground-breaking DestinationNEXT initiative, which provided destination marketing organizations with practical actions and strategies for sustainable success in a dramatically changing world.

Along with a Masters in Tourism with a focus on Sustainable Destination Management from George Washington University, Jim also holds a certificate in Placemaking and Community-Based Urbanism from New York University.  He has taught industry courses as part of Destinations International’s Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program, authored industry policy briefs, and spoken at numerous industry events on destination development and management.  He is a member of Destinations International’s Advocacy Committee.

Founded in 1990, Visit Quad Cities is the official Destination Management Organization (DMO) for the region.  Visit Quad Cities is a private 501(c)(6) non-profit engine charged with driving economic opportunity through tourism, building our authentic brand, telling & selling the Quad Cities story, and enhancing Quad Citizens’ quality of life.

Media Contact:
Charlotte Doehler-Morrison
VP Marketing and Communications
309-736-6821
cdoehler@visitquadcities.com