For this week’s interview we invite you to meet Michael Gehrisch, who shares his experience and thoughts on destination branding and destination marketing, and to reflect on his work as President of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).
- When Michael Gehrisch first got interested in destination marketing, and how his view of the topic has changed over the years;
- What destination marketing is all about;
- How destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are changing from destination promotion to stewardship and management;
- Whether destination branding plays a role in the U.S.;
- How DMAI is collaborating with its European counterpart, European Cities Marketing;
- His favorite destination branding and marketing books.
Michael, do you remember the first time you heard about destination marketing? What got you interested?
I’ve spent my entire career in the hospitality industry, so I’ve always understood the importance of the visitor economy in destinations. During my time with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, I became more aware of the impactful role that destination marketing organizations play in the tourism ecosystem.
When I was approached with the opportunity to lead what was then the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (IACVB), I was delighted to help showcase that impact to the rest of the world.