Bill Geist of destination consultancy DMOproz in the USA in this interview looks at the future of destination marketing and shares his thoughts on what the next generation of DMOs will (have to) look like, to succeed.
Bill, in your presentations you often stress that destinations should not be built for visitors. Why?
The easy answer is that, for all but those seeking theme-park like experiences, today’s consumer increasingly seeks authenticity in their experiences. Building assets for this consumer is patently not authentic.
But, the deeper answer, for Destination Marketing Organizations, lies in who the end customer is. It’s not our hospitality industry partners…and it is not the travel consumer. It is our fellow residents.
DMOs exist to enhance the quality of place and life for residents.
For those that still believe that DMOs exist to put “heads in beds,” I would suggest they look at DMOs through the eyes of a 4-year old that incessantly asks “why?” If we were to answer the “why” of DMOs with “heads in beds,” the child would ask “why” again. The answer would be “to make hotels profitable,” to which we would get another “why.” If you continue to ask “why” enough times, eventually you end up with the real answer: quality of life for residents.
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