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Destination Marketing Association International Launches Global Database for Benchmarking DMO Performance

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Agreement with Industry Partners Brings to Life DMAI’s Groundbreaking DMO Performance Reporting Handbook

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) announced today exciting new industry-led initiative to develop a comprehensive database of core DMO performance metrics. The DESTINATION ARENA platform will transform the knowledge environment for DMOs and act as the global repository for DMO comparative data. The platform was founded upon DMAI’s groundbreaking DMO Performance Reporting Handbook originally published in 2003 and updated in 2011. 

“We know performance reporting is critical as DMOs continue to educate, advocate and highlight their value and contributions to their communities,” said Michael Gehrisch, President & CEO of DMAI. “Destination Arena will bring to life metrics that matter across individual organizations and the industry - and will enable DMO professionals to make actionable and intelligent decisions to measure and improve performance. The real-time dashboards provide an instant, credible, universal and confidential way for DMOs to compare and analyze data related to: meeting sales and booking pace; leisure marketing metrics including digital and social; membership engagement and more - with other participating DMOs around the world.”

Destination Arena has the potential to become a global industry standard for the destination marketing world, similar to what the STR report has become for the hotel industry. By contributing data and participating in this industry-wide initiative, destination marketing organizations will ultimately save hours of staff time and have instant access to industry-wide metrics. 

Examples of the information services Destination Arena will make possible:

  • A comprehensive annual state of the industry report 
  • Real-time dashboard reports on 100+ metrics (Dashboards aligned with DMAI’s Performance Reporting Handbook and will enable DMOs to compare information in real time relating to meeting sales, booking pace, leisure marketing, membership, interactive, mobile and social
  • Customized benchmarking reports and research for individual DMOs 

Destination Arena will provide valuable benefits for DMOs:

  • Validate the DMOs impact and value as a destination sales and marketing channel
  • Assist DMO management in making informed decisions on investments, activities, goal setting and performance measures 
  • Provide competitive positioning and tracking of current and future business
  • Eliminate the need for multiple surveys and act as the authority for research and the most current industry data

The partnership is a result of an RFQ issued in the fall of 2012, followed by a review process by a DMAI Advisory Committee and its Board of Directors.  The three companies that originally created Destination Arena – Simpleview, InterVISTAS Consulting and GainingEdge – will continue to play an active role to further refine and develop services supporting the evolving needs of travel and tourism professionals. The partners have all had long-standing relationships within the industry and DMAI, with extensive marketing, research and technology experience.

Gehrisch added, “Our entire team at DMAI is ready to expand this project with our partnership – including the founding partners and the rest of the industry. We realize the importance of industry trust, participation and adoption for the success of these vital tools. The founding companies are to be commended for their investment and realization that the adoption of an industry standard is much greater than their individual interests.”

Since developing the concept in early 2012. Destination Arena’s founding companies have completed multiple rounds of research, development and testing before launching the program in the second quarter of 2013. More than 100 DMOs from 13 countries have contributed data over the last 9 months and the goal is to triple that amount be the end of 2014. 

An Annual State of the Industry Survey will launch globally in mid-April to further gather business intelligence from DMOs from around the world, contribute to the DESTINATION ARENA database and provide the foundation for the report to the industry during DMAI’s Annual Convention. Paul Ouimet, Executive Vice President of InterVISTAS, said that an Annual State of the Industry Report will outline key trends and developments in the DMO world.

“Access to constantly updated data from DMOs around the world will help us identify better ways to increase meeting sales, improve our digital marketing efforts and further develop our online strategies,” said Martha Sheridan, Chair of the Board of Directors for DMAI and CEO of the Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I believe these are the types of leadership initiatives DMAI should be providing to benefit all DMOs.”

Richard A. Vaughan CDME, CTA, has joined DMAI as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Destination Arena. Richard was most recently Vice President, Sales & Marketing with Simpleview and held the position of Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for the Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau for 12 years. For more information about Destination Arena Destination Benchmarking or to sign up for the service, email Richard at rvaughan@destinationmarketing.org.

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