100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Destination Marketing Association International Launches Second Phase of DestinationNEXT Project

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The evolving role of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) is undergoing unprecedented shifts due to systemic changes in travel consumer behavior and expectations, advances in technology and digital communications, and market forces demanding that DMOs develop sophisticated business models to support these ongoing changes.

With over 600 domestic and international member DMOs, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) is leading the industry into the future by empirically redefining the role of DMOs in a changing global marketplace, delivered through a wide range of education, research and advocacy platforms. That collective body of intelligence focuses on macro and micro trends on the consumer side, both leisure and meetings, and new strategies impacting daily operations at the individual DMO level.

At the forefront of these knowledge sharing initiatives, DMAI’s groundbreaking three-year DestinationNEXT initiative, launched in 2014, is providing a scientific roadmap for the future of the DMO industry, with insight culled from 327 participating DMOs in 36 countries. 

"It is the mission of DMAI to support DMOs as they evolve in today's rapidly changing global marketplace by sponsoring important research and advocacy initiatives, and creating a forum for active debate and discussion," says Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of DMAI. "Our goal is to showcase today's best practices in destination marketing that are scalable for any DMO of any size worldwide."  

During DMAI’s 2015 Annual Convention in Austin, TX, the organization unveiled the second phase of the DestinationNEXT initiative. Phase 2 was designed to build upon the Phase 1 reseach by providing DMOs with two practical tools:

1. An online diagnostic tool;

2. A series of NEXTPractices and case studies.

The online diagnostic tool is designed to assist DMOs do an objective self-assessment which can help them determine priorities and strategies for the future. The tool presents a framework that DMO leaders and communities can use to critically assess the destination. It also helps to start a conversation and provide focus on what needs to be done in the future. 

The tool is based on 20 variables related to destination strength and community support and engagement. DMAI tested and refined the online diagnostic tool during 10 regional workshops, involving 205 DMOs from 17 countries. 

Along with the online diagnostic tool, the organization released a handbook of DMO practices from around the world, including the rationale, approach and outcomes for each practice. 

“I think the most important thing about phase two of DestinationNEXT is really focusing the discussion on the destination versus the DMO, because it's that product that ultimately the bureau is engaged to promote,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO of Visit Salt Lake and Chair of the DMAI Board of Directors. 

The Phase 2 tools and resources can be accessed by visiting destinationmarketing.org/destinationnext

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