100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Recruiting the Best Talent to the Destination Marketing Industry

Author: Jim McCaul
Posted: December 17, 2013
Blog Topics Covered:
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Travel and tourism has played an increasingly important role in the economic growth of destinations across the globe. In 2012, the G20 world leaders recognized, for the first time, the importance of travel and tourism as a driver of jobs, growth and economic recovery. In the same year the industry directly employed 101 million people around the world, and the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates it to generate 24 million new jobs globally by 2023. There is a pressing concern with travel and tourism companies; however, that the industry is missing out on recruiting the best new talent amongst top business graduates due to negative perceptions of the career opportunities available in the industry. 

A recent study from WTTC found that travel and tourism is viewed as a reasonably attractive industry for university graduates but one that is poorly understood. The industry appeals to individuals who see value in work-life balance, international opportunities and good benefits, but not among those with a more traditional approach of financial returns and achieving senior leadership positions with reputable companies. When asked about types of job roles in the industry, students were often only able to provide loose terms such as “travel”, “guide” or “management”. It is important for the future success of our industry to educate young students and professionals on the opportunities available. 

Recruiting a diverse group of talent will be critical to DMAI’s mission of protecting and advancing the success of destination marketing organizations worldwide. Here are a few ways you can help ensure this future success: 

Junior Achievement 

Introduce local students to destination marketing industry by hosting a Junior Achievement Job Shadow Day at your organization. Your organization will welcome a class middle or high school students and their teacher for a half day onsite orientation on your business, how it works and the skills necessary for a career. DMAI's Destination & Travel Foundation has put together the resources and step-by-step procedures to make hosting a JA Job Shadow Day a win-win for you, for students and for your community.

  1. Download this step by step guide to hosting a JA Job Shadow Day
  2. Contact the local JA Field Representatives in your area
  3. Download the Junior Achievement (JA) Job Shadow Travel & Tourism In-Class Supplement and begin planning your JA Job Shadow Day
Develop an Internship Program

Internships are great way to introduce the next generation of leaders to our industry and provide a valuable recruiting tool for DMOs. But as Jonathon Day, Chair of the Student and Educator Advisory Council at DMAI and Assistant Professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at Purdue University points out, “Destination marketing organizations need to attract the most qualified candidates to market their organizations, enhance their missions and insure their long-term success. However, attracting promising employees from the recent crop of college and university graduates may require a marketing strategy of its own. Not all college students and graduates are aware of our specialized segment of the marketing profession.”   

Internships listings are always free to post in the DMAI Career Center and ensure top tourism and hospitality students are aware of opportunities at your organization. If you are unsure of how your DMO can best utilize an internship program, download the DMO Internship Guide compiled by Jonathan Day to provide ideas on how to utilize college interns and help to create a pathway for students in hospitality, tourism and marketing to become interested in the dynamic career field of destination marketing.

Post Opportunities on DMAI’s Career Center

We all know that working for a DMO is the truly the best job in the world, and working for tourism boards was seen as one of the most attractive employment opportunities to undergraduate students in the WTTC study. By sharing your career opportunities on the DMAI Career Center, you can help us highlight the rewarding careers in our industry and get the attention of destination marketing professionals who are invested in the future of organizations such as your own. A job posting on our Career Center will:

  • Reach DMAI's membership of nearly 600 official destination marketing associations with more than 3,700 staff members in over 15 countries
  • Be viewed by an average of over 2,000 top job seekers
  • Be fed to over 6,400 followers via DMAI's Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
  • Unlike commercial job boards, DMAI's website attracts thousands of "passive" candidates that can't be found on pure job board sites