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Expand your horizons: now’s the time for destination marketing organisations to evolve their marketing approach

The big picture 

While travel bounces back, changes in market dynamics, as well as consumer expectations and behaviours, means destination marketing organisations (DMOs) current marketing approaches must also change. To succeed in the future, they need to embrace new marketing thinking.

Why it’s important  

The travel market remains very competitive, and DMOs can’t purely rely on existing visitor demand for their area. Instead, they must actively build it. With consumers spending more time researching and selecting their preferred holiday destinations, they must upgrade their marketing approach to remain relevant.   

Deeper Dive 

A key area of change concerns metrics and adjusting how you previously measured success to reflect what you must measure in the future.  

While traditional metrics based around airline or hotel spend are still important, they fail to deliver an accurate measurement of actual value. When people stay in a destination, they do so much more than what is reflected in these limited metrics. They also fail to take into account those destination visitors staying with friends or family but are still actively spending in the area.  

Instead, a more comprehensive measurement of spend across the many businesses these visitors engage with – from restaurants and retail to tourist attractions – is needed. Rather than relying on survey-based data that reflects a snapshot from only a fraction of visitors, it’s critical to understand the direct visitor yield and experience in your area. This then needs to be tied back to your marketing activities to reveal their net impact.   

Today, DMOs must become active drivers of revenue for their local communities. Far from simply seeing themselves as a destination marketing organisation, they must update their approach and see themselves as a destination management organisation. This entails driving demand for their area, focusing measurement around the economic impact on the community and driving visitor value, not just volume.   

The bottom line 

For DMOs, visitor opportunities are there, but you must work harder to attract them. This means ditching your old ways and replacing them with new approach. 

To help you navigate today’s travel environment, download our Future of Tourism ebook which provides information, insights, and ideas on how to shift your marketing thinking to embrace the new travel reality.