19 June 2019

Destination management organisations – a bit of new thinking

Do you remember the tourist boards of yore? A simpler time, when regional statutory bodies served a regional visitor economy membership community, and fed into bigger national agencies. One model, nice and easy. Well, not quite, but today’s deregulated landscape of DMOs (that’s ‘management’ and ‘marketing’) has as many models and structures as it has, well, DMOs. Core funding is only going one way, but market opportunities are arguably never stronger, even though stability is a word we use less and less.

So how does an emerging ‘place’, without convenient ring-fenced tourism budgets or staff, deliver what they need in collective destination management terms? Well, the short answer is get a clear vision, even clear goals and build from the assets they do have (which will almost certainly be more than they thought). Whether it is Buxton, Calderdale or Barnsley, the collective resource can and will make the difference. We are working with, and seeing, emerging and historic destinations at all scales renew their brand, product offer, packaging, information and market analysis. There will generally be a bigger DMO at a regional level, so these relationships are being challenged and rebooted. Even with no kickstarter funding on the table, progress can be achieved, and a phased approach will find and release new funds and resources over time, as confidence and partnerships grow. We’re working with clients doing this now. What’s happening at your ‘place’?

Image: Creative Tourist Ltd

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