Key destination marketing challenges was one of the questions posed in our recent interview with Michael Gehrisch, President of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). Destination marketers around the world find themselves facing significant changes in how destination marketing is done, its purpose and future development. Of course, those changes also bring new opportunities, from which first movers will benefit most.
Which are the main destination marketing challenges today?
Michael Gehrisch, President of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI):
One of the key destination marketing challenges goes back to convincing governments and stakeholders that tourism promotion should be viewed as an investment in a destination’s economic growth and community well-being, versus an expense line item for “tourism promotion.”
We do a survey every couple of years of our CEOs — it’s a financial and organizational profile. Today’s CEOs reported spending about 80 percent of their time on advocacy-related issues and about 20 percent of their time on marketing and selling a destination.
Now, that could be community involvement — it doesn’t mean standing down in the mayor’s office every day, but rather promoting the value of tourism for your destination.
Ten years ago, it was just the reverse, 80 percent of a CEO’s time was spent on marketing and 20 percent was spent on advocacy.
Do We Need to Reinvent Destination Marketing Organisations?
Earlier this year, Doug Lansky, travel writer, speaker and destinations expert, really got our attention with his TED talk on how to fix travel and tourism’s worsening authenticity crisis. Thankfully, Doug doesn’t just complain, but offers a set of innovative solutions.
One of his key suggestions is to reinvent destination marketing organizations (DMO) and turn them into destination management organizations. Place brands, he argues, are too much influenced by advertising promises, and not enough connected to local communities. And with a destination’s carrying capacity often entirely ignored or miscalculated, the situation is getting worse by the day.
Read our article on Do we need to reinvent destination marketing organisations?
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