Navigating the AI Wave: Insights from CrowdRiff’s 2024 Destination Marketing Trends Report

schedule 5 min read calendar_today
<span>Navigating the AI Wave: Insights from CrowdRiff’s 2024 Destination Marketing Trends Report</span>
Bottom Line:

Explore the future of destination marketing with CrowdRiff's 2024 Trends Report, focusing on AI adoption. Based on insights from 200 marketers, the report reveals AI's impact on workflows, quality control, and authenticity. Discover how to navigate the AI wave and stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of destination marketing.

Sometimes it feels like we can’t get through a single week without a new AI tool or social media feature, or CEO announcement that will “change marketing forever.” Add to that the pace of change in travel and tourism and we totally understand why destination marketers might be feeling some whiplash. But however fast the industry moves from day to day, there are bigger, steadier shifts that are shaping the way we work and the work we do.

CrowdRiff’s 2024 Trends Report was created with the aim of capturing both the quick leaps and the lasting changes so that you have a well-rounded perspective on the upcoming year in destination marketing. To support our research, we surveyed over 200 destination marketers to find out how their 2024 strategies are shaping up. The sample represents diverse perspectives from across North America (and a few in Europe in Australia). On top of everything these destination marketers shared, we used secondary research from trusted publications and thought leaders in the space.

One of the most interesting topics that arose from our research was (unsurprisingly) AI. You can read a breakdown of our findings below but trust us - you’re going to want to download the entire FREE Trends Report to see what else we uncovered! 

AI adoption enters the stratosphere

Our survey shows that 65% of DMOs are using AI for work. Let’s break that down. Across job titles, it looks like AI is most popular among the directors in an organization and the least popular with creative practitioners. DMOs with budgets between $100k-$200k are the most likely to use AI (79%). 58% of one-person teams are toughing it out without AI, while just 38% of teams of five or more aren’t using AI. 

Data visualization: Are DMOs using AI for work?

AI usage vs job function 
Executive 12/18 - 67%
Director 23/31 - 74%
Manager 63/100 - 63%
Practitioner 40/64 - 63%

AI usage vs team size
1 team member - 11/26 - 42%
2 team members - 29/42 - 69%
3 team members - 26/39 - 67%
4 team members - 15/22 - 68%
5 team members - 17/27 - 63%
5+ team members - 40/65 - 62%

AI usage vs content budget
$1,000,001 or more - 12/21 - 57%
$600,001 - $1,000,000 - 15/24 - 63%
$400,001 - $600,000 - 7/13 - 54%
$200,001 - $400,000 - 13/28 - 46%
$100,001 - $200,000 - 27/34 - 79%
0-$100,000 - 64/101 - 63%

Overall, a majority of DMOs surveyed are using AI, and this tracks with general trends across marketing. AI use has exploded, especially for tasks related to content creation, like copywriting, content writing, and photo editing. This has helped social media and content practitioners focus more on rapid testing and strategy. And that’s just at the individual level. 2024 will see an increase in organizations that systematically integrate the use of AI internally and in customer-facing products. In fact, Hubspot noted a 260% increase in how much organizations plan to use AI for editing images in 2024 [source]. 

Many thought leaders are predicting that everyone will have an AI assistant soon [source]. By using open source LLMs or OpenAI-integrated systems, users in the very near future will be able to “build their own bot” that is programmed to help with tasks specific to the individual. Imagine an AI assistant that helps you with all of your least favorite tasks, say social media copy, image cropping, and grocery lists. Just like developing an Excel budget or a Zapier function, this level of customization will create an infinite number of idiosyncratic AIs and further enshrine their use in the workplace. 

Takeaway: Destination marketers should continue to not only learn as much as they can about this technology, but also use it and experience how it works. In the years ahead, many of us will be more than AI users — we’ll be AI tinkerers.

AI meets QC

Unlike other MarTech solutions that have quietly optimized and supplemented our workflows, AI has the potential to actually do our work for us (with varying degrees of execution). The question is whether we want it to. Of the destination marketers we surveyed, 80% think that AI doesn’t threaten the work they do. This signals an overwhelmingly positive sentiment about AI in the DMO community. But as this technology makes rapid advancements in 2024 and beyond, it’s likely that organizations will start to develop hardline rules about the tech and seek more expert input for their leadership teams. At the same time, individuals in the workforce will see AI quality control become an important part of their job function.

Takeaway: At this early stage in AI development, it’s important that destination marketers start to develop not just a working knowledge, but a working philosophy about artificial intelligence. 

Audience fatigue

Almost everyone with an internet connection has encountered AI in some form, and many people are using it on a daily basis. But in a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, almost 44% of Americans think they do not regularly interact with AI [source]. How will generative AI impact that number? Right now, many digital natives can distinguish between content made by generative AI and content made by humans, such as blog posts and digital imagery. In fact, many internet users already complain of a proliferation of overly optimized “AI-garbage” on search engines. In the end, human input, reasoning, and quality control is essential to meeting the demands of an AI-savvy audience who want authenticity above all.

Takeaway: Generative AI is super useful for front-loading content creation, but destination marketers should be careful to add checks and balances to their AI workflow. 


Artificial intelligence is not just an individual tool but an organizational force, with the majority of destination marketers already incorporating AI into their strategies. As the technology advances throughout 2024, destination marketers can expect solutions that streamline more of their content creation workflow. On the flipside, this will require more quality control and behind-the-scenes knowledge to manage.

Want to learn more about destination marketing trends for 2024? Download your copy of our full 2024 Trends Report now for the inside scoop on influencers, social media hacks, and what other destination marketers are prioritizing this year. Get your FREE copy here!

About the Author

Kerri Moore

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Kerri is CrowdRiff’s Senior Content Marketing Manager. A Brit who has been living in Canada for the past five years, she is passionate about travel and delivering content that resonates with readers. 

chevron_right More from this Author