‘elan DO 2050 vigorous spirit and enthusiastic mindset.

A Bimonthly Briefing on Destination Organization Matters and DCG Activities.

Issue 2

Image: Wilmington Riverwalk, NC

EDITORIAL: Destination Marketing, Management and Leadership Comes of Age

We’ve come a long way over the past 30 years since the introduction of Destination International’s Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program. Please note Destination Management, not Destination Marketing in the credential title. We knew then that our roles wouldn’t just be destination promotion and “heads in beds” but a wider responsibility embracing visitor experience/tourism development, destination/community brand strategy and messaging, and tourism advocacy and community relations engagement. There are still naysayers out there especially within the ranks of the hospitality industry and purist academicians. However, solid recognition has been confirmed through the DestinationNEXT research and CVB/DMO application over the past eight years. Today we’re beyond destination marketing and management, and fully vested in Destination Leadership, which is a relevant multi-functional discipline coined back in 1992 as one of the core CDME courses. It is holistically defined as follows.

Destination Leadership is the culmination of effectively marketing, managing and leading a visitor destination in a sustainable manner by key community and tourism industry proponents. The ability to lead a destination responsibly is based on a dedicated tourism and/or convention board or visitors bureau entity with efficient and well-performing promotion, sales/services, tourism development and advocacy, financial and people management strategies and practices. Leading a destination entails the shared formulation of a vision, brand experience and identity development, formation of beneficial partnerships, acquisition and use of appropriate financial and human resources, ongoing influential stakeholder relations, and seeking and capitalizing on lucrative visitor marketplace opportunities.

See the accompanying Destination Leadership Hierarchy which illustrates this evolutionary and multi-disciplinary approach to leading a successful destination. Your comments and/or questions are welcome.