Knowledge Groups Logo CityDNA

Knowledge Groups form a critical part of City Destinations Alliance
and are one of the key success factors for the association.

What are Knowledge Groups?

They are expert teams focusing on specific aspects of city marketing and urban tourism development. They discuss issues, share best practice, prepare reports, conduct surveys and, in certain cases, undertake joint marketing activities.

Each group is composed of minimum 6 CityDNA Members and they meet on a regular basis.

How can I join a Knowledge Group?

Knowledge Groups are composed of members interested in sharing knowledge and expertise on a specific topic.

To join a group, you must be a member of City Destinations Alliance and contact the Head Office.

There will certainly be a topic of interest for you, do not hesitate to join. If you want to be part of the group we would like you to be an active and dedicated member of the group. You need to be present at the meetings!

How can I actively participate?

CityDNA members are welcome as guests/observers at our meetings, where we discuss our agenda or actual issues. During the meeting we expect you to actively participate to the discussion, sharing content and knowledge.

As a CityDNA Member, you can contribute to CityDNA surveys and reports elaborated by the Knowledge Groups.


City Cards Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

The City Cards Knowledge Group leads the actions of the City Cards Project network.
The Project aims to be a platform helping members to develop, market & promote their products, in order to improve the overall offer of European cities.
The group’s purpose is to implement concrete and practical actions, that will allow members to benchmark with other city cards.

Gianluca Camaggio

Goals & guiding principles

  • Gather insights and share experiences and knowledge on how to set up, run and sell a city card
  • Provide a platform where managers & product developers can network and discuss the latest trends on city card marketing, strategy & product development, and what are their challenges
  • Promote European city cards to the public and trade industry
  • Increase consumers’ awareness and encourage their purchase of city cards when travelling, as a sustainable and practical product, which can generate revenue for the city

What we do – action plan

The City Cards Project is a reliable network of cities, aiming to gather and share their knowledge. Some of their main actions are:

  • Annual City Cards Expert Meeting
  • Annual Benchmarking survey on European city cards
  • City Cards branding campaign
  • Online discussion on Zoom every two months about city card related topics
  • Inspiring webinars (3-4 per year)
  • Participation in CityDNA Conference to provide networking opportunities, making sure the City Cards Project is on the CityDNA agenda

Join the experts

Gianluca Camaggio Barcelona – Chairperson

Melissa Clauzing Amsterdam

Ulrike Dziolloss Berlin

Marianne Skafte Copenhagen


Digital Destinations Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

The Digital Destinations Knowledge Group’s purpose is to connect people and destinations through digital communication and to support the discovery, confrontations and use of new technologies for an increasingly aware and sustainable tourism.

Carola Valls

Vicky Van Daele

Goals & guiding principles

  • Create a knowledge hub about digital strategy and all electronic communication channels
  • Provide expertise to help DMOs adopt and embrace a digital way of thinking
  • Inspire successful business transformation and new initiatives based on digital and innovation
  • Gather and share insights on the digital tourism landscape across Europe

What we do – action plan

  • Share best practices on digital communication
  • Content creation for digital hub on City Destinations Alliance Intranet
  • Search for new lecturers for CityDNA conferences and chats
  • Organisation of webinars about digital topics
  • Benchmarking: Digital KPIs Survey (in collaboration with Research & Insights Knowledge Group)
  • Collaboration with -digital first- CityDNA partners

Join the experts

Carola Valls Benidorm – Chairperson

Vicky Van Daele Ghent – Vice-Chairperson

Claudia Pinna Genoa

Deborah de Lausnay Ghent

Annemieke Lack Hamburg

Els Van Zele Mechelen

Ainhoa Cordoba San Sebastian

Nicoletta Paterno Turin


Meetings Industry Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

As thought leaders and skilled convention bureau representatives, our objective is to collectively help shape the convention bureau of tomorrow by improving and broadening best practices to strengthen the sustainable visitor economy for the city.

We believe that meetings create long-term, positive, sustainable impacts in destinations to benefit their business clusters and academic, science and cultural communities through global audiences.

Together, European destinations aim to position the Meetings Industry as a key component in national and international economies, thus contributing to the unity of our sector.

We identify and acknowledge new trends, as well as provide educational programmes to retain and attract talents while securing the future of meetings professionals

Jurgen Moors

Jan Oršič

Goals & guiding principles

As thought leaders and experienced convention bureau representatives, we are responsible for all Meetings Industry-related activities which represent one of City Destinations Alliance’s 3 key pillars. We aim to position the Meetings Industry as an acknowledged and respected key component in national and international economies, inspire to strengthen the unity of the industry community, secure the future of our young meeting professionals and contribute to positively shaping the European Convention Bureaus of tomorrow.

  • We support the CVBs role in Europe (advocacy)
  • We are responsible for the planning and delivery of all Meetings Industry-related activities, like the CityDNA Summer School or the presence of City Destinations Alliance at global tradeshows.
  • We create a community of CVBs, a place to meet, exchange and identify key issues in the Meetings Industry
  • We monitor data related to the Meetings Industry (in cooperation with R&I group)
  • We help identify trends and support CVBs in their efforts to align their own strategic agendas to whatever demands the future will bring (ex: sustainability topics, hybrid value proposition for destinations, what value propositions can DMOs/CVBs make in the future, how CVBs can remain relevant in the rapidly-evolving virtual landscape, how associations will build their congresses in the future, how to partner with suppliers and local economic cluster within your city, PCOs, Convention centres, etc.

What we do – action plan

  • Suggest topics and speakers for Meetings Industry sessions during both CityDNA annual conferences (ex: innovation and digital transformation, navigating new safety & security regulations for our clients, sustainability and how it permeates in all aspects of events, how to develop or implement legacy in a destination, etc)
  • Organise webinars or online discussions on current topics and challenges
  • Organise the CityDNA Summer School each summer
  • Organise City Destinations Alliance’s presence at global industry tradeshows (IMEX and IBTM)
  • Steer the Mentor Programme and help it grow and flourish
  • Collaborate with Meetings Industry partners like IMEX, IBTM, ICCA, The Iceberg, SITE, HQ Magazine
  • Promote City Destinations Alliance to non-member CVBs across Europe

Join the experts

Jurgen Moors Maastricht – Chairperson

Jan Oršič Ljubljana – Vice-Chairperson

Cecile Dorian Barcelona

Pier Paolo Mariotti Bolzano

Bettina Reventlow-Mourier Copenhagen

Sam Johnston Dublin

Romana Vlašić Dubrovnik

Barbara Jamison London

Catherine Kalamidas Rotterdam


Research & Insights Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

The Research & Insights Knowledge Group co-ordinates all research activities within the City Destinations Alliance network, collaborating with a wide range of CityDNA partners to initiate and exchange knowledge on market research to the benefit of city tourism destinations in Europe and to bring fresh insights and opportunities to the wider membership.

Members of the group use their expertise to discuss current trends, share best practices, commission new research, and prepare and release reports that further the sustainable development of city tourism destinations in Europe and benefit the membership and reputation of the City Destinations Alliance network

Magnus Hessbo

Daniëlla Brust-Blumink

Goals & guiding principles

  • Consolidate and improve current research activities for the benefit of visitors and citizens in European member cities alike.
  • Inspire City Destinations Alliance members to make their decision-making processes more data-driven
  • Identify Knowledge / Industry Partners & solutions that add new value and insights, aligned with the mission of the Research & Insights Knowledge Group
  • Maintain regular contact and work with other Knowledge Groups in collaborative projects
  • Be agile and flexible with how we work, to maximise our expertise and the time we have together

What we do – action plan

  • Support City Destinations Alliance Head Office in evaluating potential ECM Knowledge Partners, setting up cooperation terms and sustain current partnerships through various reports, studies and webinar participations
  • Work with City Destinations Alliance Head Office on how to promote and emphasize the quality content of CityDNA reports (in-house and partners) through efficient communication
  • Identify and seek solutions for research-related questions that are important to many city tourism member destinations
  • Organise (content and moderation) the TourMIS International Seminar every other year
  • Continue and initiate new cross-projects and collaborations with other Knowledge Groups
  • Contribute to a common understanding and harmonization of city visitor statistics by sharing knowledge on definitions and data collection methods
  • Build on the high levels of engagement and connection between the members, driving forward with pace, rigour and enriched partnerships

CityDNA-Transparent Short-Term Rentals Report

Transparent is an independent data intelligence company that builds and maintains data analytics products related to the short-term rental markets. Since May 2019, Transparent provides CityDNA member […]

CityDNA-ForwardKeys Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer is the business intelligence tool, designed to help decision-makers in Hotel chains, Destination Management Organizations and other industry professionals to make data-backed decisions, anticipate demand […]

ECM DMO Funding Survey

New 2020 DMO Funding Survey published by European Cities Marketing shows severe impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Europe’s urban Destination Management and Marketing Organisations (DMOs). […]

ECM Benchmarking Report

The ECM Benchmarking Report provides a vital perspective on the volume of urban tourism in Europe, enabling individual city destinations to chart trends and to bench­mark […]

ECM Meetings Statistics Report

The Meetings Statistics Report is a monitoring and benchmarking tool supplying practical and actionable information on the volume and the economic significance of the convention business […]

ECM European Cities Benchmarking Tool

The European Cities Online Benchmarking Tool is designed for administering the city tourism statistics in an easy and efficient way. The data is provided by TourMIS for the online system […]

ECM City Tourism Monitor

This quarterly research exercise gives a more or less immediate ‘barometer’ type reading of the health or otherwise of city tourism. Through a survey of member city tourist […] and the TourMIS Workshop

TourMIS is an online data-base for city tourism managers and researchers, and forms the statistical basis for the European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report and other monitoring exercises. […]

ECM-MKG European Destinations Observatory

The ECM-MKG Destination Observatory presents the development of key performance indicators (RevPAR, room rate and occupancy rate) for ECM member cities in which the sample of hotel providing […]

Join the experts

Magnus Hessbo Stockholm – Chairperson

Daniëlla Brust-Blumink Amsterdam – Vice-Chairperson

Alba Lajusticia Barcelona

Sophia Quint Berlin

Wouter Devroe Bruges

Catherine Fredette Brussels

Lone Alletorp Callard Copenhagen

Ina Duckstein Dresden

Claudia Pinna Genoa

Charlotte Desmet Ghent

Bernadett Pakucs Gothenburg

Aleksandra Lorkowski Hamburg

Pekka Mustonen Helsinki

André Moura Lisbon

Claire Jones London

Ralf Zednik Munich

Thomas Deschamps Paris

Cristina Cerutti Turin

Ricardo Millet Valencia

Clemens Költringer Vienna

Petra Tschöll Vienna

Lidija Lalicic MODUL University Vienna

Jason Stienmetz MODUL University Vienna

Karl Wöber MODUL University Vienna

Bozana Zekan MODUL University Vienna


Sustainability Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

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 destination representatives, 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.

Due to the immense complexity, we can only succeed if we work together and learn from each other.

Katarina Thorstensson

Birgit Liukkonen

Goals & guiding principles

  • 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.
  • Our framework and point of departure are the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our role is to accelerate the necessary transformation, help unlock barriers and initiate collaboration/innovation/solutions towards these goals within European cities tourism.
  • More specifically, our goal is to inspire all CityDNA members to integrate sustainability into their DNA when developing, managing and promoting a destination. We encourage DMOs to challenge previous growth strategies, to initiate a transparent impact assessment process based on the triple bottom line approach and to harmonize private tourism strategies with public government strategies.
  • Finally, by building up a strong network among sustainability leaders/managers within Europe, we contribute to the empowerment and professionalisation of this increasingly important role within DMOs of the future.

What we do – action plan

We inspire and support European DMOs in accelerating the development and management of sustainable urban tourism destinations and sustainability strategies by:

  • Providing a learning platform: we transparently create, gather and share insights, knowledge and best practices
  • Finding consensus about key definitions, concepts, labels, rankings, tools and roles
  • Proposing new common KPIs for tourism destinations beyond the number of overnight stays
  • Inspiring action by showcasing how to make sustainability concrete
  • Activating European funds for sustainable tourism (e.g., European Union funding)
  • Collaborating, engaging and involving with other CityDNA KGs to use synergies and increase the impact
  • Creating access and translating information into the local context and to relevant stakeholders

Join the experts

Katarina Thorstensson Gothenburg – Chairperson

Birgit Liukkonen Helsinki – Vice-Chairperson

Maya Janssen Amsterdam

Jessy Van Strydonck Antwerp

Luisa Mentz Berlin

Kathleen Davisters Brussels

Maria del Mar Gil Cruz Catalonia

Simone Trommer-Tiedemann Dresden

Bart Rondas Ghent

Nuria Prats Girona

Antje Forytta Hamburg

Julia Gleich Innsbruck

Olivier Mathieu Lausanne

Alenka Soršak Ljubljana

Sabine Schwanz Madrid

Ursula Dietmair Munich

Nina Knode Nuremberg

Avia Finkelstein Tel Aviv

Jaume Mata Valencia

Andrea Kostner Vienna


TIC Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

The Tourist Information Centres Knowledge Group’s purpose is to generously share knowledge and knowhow, research and insights, contacts and friendships, with the goal of maximising the present and future impact of visitor information servicing across our European network of DMOs.

Pablo Ortega Novillo

Esther Virto

Goals & guiding principles

  • Support the operation of viable, valuable, and efficiently run TICs
  • Promote innovation in the delivery of TIC services and products through the sharing of ideas and knowhow.
  • Explore the main trends and how they impact-on and inform the service we deliver.
  •  Advise DMOs on the development of alternative forms of information provision and on the most efficiencies and productivity ways of delivering same.
  • Define how visitor information services can play an even greater role in the promotion and development of a destination.
  • Encourage professional training and promote a culture of staff recognition.
  • Last but not least, facilitate the creation of productive and long-lasting friendships across our sector.

What we do – action plan

  • Annual TIC Expert Meeting. Focusing on hot topics, challenges, and the sharing of informative case studies.
  • Online discussion on Zoom with full network to discuss the latest trends, innovations and challenges impacting Tourism Information Centres across Europe
  • The delivery of a TIC Hostmanship Award that promotes service excellence and reinforces the culture of recognition
  • TIC Survey among CityDNA members

Join the experts

Pablo Ortega Novillo Catalonia – Chairperson

Adil Abbach Amsterdam

Esther Virto Bilbao

Gary Breen Dublin

Annelie Karlsson Gothenburg

Mari Somero Helsinki

Lidia Fedchuk Lviv

Javier Grillo Seville


Trend Room Logo CityDNA

The reason why – purpose

The Trend Room aims to bring City Destinations Alliance to the very forefront of trends and innovations in the urban cityscape by developing an in-house trend watching hub where thought leaders find each other to discuss the future of cities and the visitor economy and by providing the CityDNA members with inspirational ideas and insights to help them develop new strategies for the future.

Trends and innovations about the relevance and role of the DMO, the resilience of cities, integrated place making and place branding, consumer behaviour, travel industry evolutions, economical insights about regenerative tourism, urban development and urban planning.

Claire Mertens

Goals & guiding principles


  • a living lab
  • we share ideas and discuss topics with worldwide experts, future thinkers and trend watchers
  • we cultivate an open mind set to change and challenge each other
  • we learn about evolutions we are not yet aware of
  • we help cities to master the VUCA world


  • assemble best practices, city cases, academic papers, challenging talks, interviews, essays
  • we look for answers to the issues we face now
  • but with the next 10 years in scope to manage the evolutions ahead
  • the world is our school and we learn from global pioneers


  • we gather our strengths with the CityDNA knowledge groups
  • we exchange ideas with international organisations focused on visitor economy
  • provide for good quality talks during City Destinations Alliance general events
  • bring forward experts with insightful stories
  • match them with best practices and cases

What we do – action plan


  • Gather, Observe, Share


  • Gather expertise via a network of opinion leaders
  • Share knowledge and insights via Trend Talks, Trend Flash newsletter and City Destinations Alliance Intranet
  • Nurture cross-collaboration

Join the experts

Claire Mertens Antwerp – Chairperson

Stefan Noethen Hamburg

Davy Jansegers Lausanne

Lucie Vangerven Leuven

Barbara Jamison London

Yvonne Coulin Nuremberg