100 Years of Advancing Destinations

DMAI 2014: Advancing Destinations

DMAI is off to an incredible start in 2014 - as we celebrate advancing destinations for 100 years - and look toward the future of destination marketing and management.

Outlined below are the major projects currently underway at DMAI.  If you have any question regarding this update, please don't hesitate to contact me. In closing, on behalf of the entire DMAI professional staff, we look forward to seeing many of you at Destinations Week in Washington to launch 2014 into success.

1. Advocating for the DMO Industry

A. Destination Next
A Strategic Roadmap for the Next Generation of Global Destination Marketing

The Destination and Travel Foundation provided a grant for this landmark project, marking the 100-year anniversary of DMAI and charting the landscape for destination marketing for the next century. This study will provide: 

  • A roadmap that can help us collectively recognize the major forces shaping the traveler's (both leisure and convention) experience and the industry
  • Rich insights into the future of the destination marketing industry
  • Scenarios regarding roles of DMOs and their position in the marketplace that will enable DMOs to make more informed decisions and adjustments

Twelve (12) proposals were submitted, and Intervistas was named as the project partner following a board vote.  Work began in January and findings will be presented at Annual Convention 2014.

B. Tourism as an Economic Driver 
Based on the DMAI Strategic Planning Survey of more than 100 DMO CEOs, the majority of official DMOs believe their value proposition to be "economic development through tourism." In the same survey, nearly half said their role and scope will change in the next 3-5 years to include more destination development and further alignment with traditional economic development. How does travel & tourism investment relate to other economic development opportunities? A clear answer to these questions will define how governments treat travel & tourism within their economic development strategies. This new research project will: 

  • Demonstrate the extent to which travel and tourism is a driver of broader economic development in the U.S. 
  • Be assessed at the city level across over 100 destinations. 

The Foundation is providing a grant to cover half of the project's cost; Choose Chicago and Visit Phoenix have committed as partners, and continue to seek other destinations sponsor participants.  Potential partners are encouraged to contact Vic Isley. Download a copy of the project prospectus here.

C. Advocacy and Industry Collaboration

  • DMAI continues its partnership with the U.S. Travel Association on Destination Capitol Hill, Feb. 26-27, 2014, to highlight areas of importance such as travel infrastructure, the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, the impact of travel on the economy and the reauthorization of Brand USA.  
  • Meetings Mean Business Coalition partners continue to highlight the importance of meetings and event travel to the U.S. economy and defend the value of face to face meetings.  The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy update will be released during a press conference at DMAI's Destinations Week in Washington.   
  • The Group Room Demand Study is now underway to quantify the extent attendees and exhibitors book hotel rooms outside of the organizer room block. Five industry partners are funding the project:  the Foundation, ASAE, CEIR, MPI and PCMA.  Findings of this study should aid the industry in evolving the business model that has been based on contracted room nights, including:
    • Better qualify business opportunities through DMO and convention center booking guidelines and policies
    • More accurately quantify the value and impact of meetings & conventions to destinations 
    • Enable meeting professionals and organizations to better understand the value and footprint of their own meetings

D. Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) Board
In 2014 the DMO Accreditation Program has a goal of reaching a total of 200 accredited DMOs. The DMAP Board recently updated the standards - with the most significant changes relating to the introduction of New Standards and existing Voluntary Standards being elevated to Mandatory. Elevating the voluntary standards reflects industry trending and the adoption of these practices within the DMO community.  The revised standards will apply to new applicants seeking accreditation during the Aug. 1 - Sept. 30, 2014 review cycle. To speed the accreditation application and review processing, new software will be implemented by the end of 2014. 

2. Advancing the DMO Professional

A. Annual Convention 2014
Registration will open February 2014 to celebrate 100 years of convening destination marketing professionals from around the world. R and R Partners, through the kindness of the LVCVA, has developed an updated DMAI corporate mark highlighting DMAI's 100 years and developed a year-long centennial theme, Celebrating the Journey, Advancing Destinations, 100 Years and Growing.   The updated mark will be unveiled during Destinations Week in Washington, the week of Feb. 10. Compelling speakers and exciting events are already underway:

Eric Wahl the internationally acclaimed story-teller, graffiti artist and entrepreneur is confirmed to kick off the event.  Storytelling in its various mediums will be used as a tactic in celebrating the great accomplishments of DMAI and its future initiatives.

Other key highlights include Global All Stars opener with National Geographic photographer, Bryan Smith an award winning filmmaker and explorer at National Geographic.  Bryan's first documentary, 49 Megawatts, received acclaim both for its amazing kayaking footage and insightful exploration of the controversy over British Columbia's river based energy production. Using his natural story-teller abilities, Bryan delivers legendary filmmaking appealing to viewers senses.  

Plus, you won't want to miss Welby Altidor, Director of Creation, Cirque du Soleil.  Welby's varied interests in philosophy, design, political science, cinema, literature and public relations contribute to his eclectic style and delivery of memorable stories through the highly acclaimed Cirque du Soliel performances.  

Catch up with industry colleagues at fun networking events - the Foundation Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club; the opening party at Hard Rock Live!; and the incredible poolside closing at the  Cosmopolitan.

B. CDME - New Content Investment
A grant provided in 2014 will enable the three core courses to be refreshed with current content, case studies, latest best practices presented - and that knowledge learning be measured through a testing model as opposed to a written project paper.  CDME program content improvements will:

  • Align with the Essentials and Standards of DMAI's Accreditation Program
  • Enhance credibility and recognition in the convention and tourism industry
  • Be delivered in a more user-friendly model
  • Be effective and cost efficient by considering Elective content delivery by webinar
  • Be tested through more standard testing models

C. Mark Your Calendar

DMAI/PCMA Challenge Cup



Tucson, AZ

CDME Courses



Oklahoma City, OK

CEO Forum



Hilton Head, SC

ASSN Board Meeting - 2Q 2014



Hilton Head, SC

Foundation Golf Tournament



Las Vegas, NV

Annual Convention



Las Vegas, NV

DMAP Board



Las Vegas, NV

Membership Summit



Anchorage, AL

Visitor Services Summit



Providence, RI

CDME Alumni Summit



Pittsburgh, PA

COO/Tech Summit



Miami, FL

CDME Core Courses & Electives




Sales Academy I & II




ASSN Board Meeting - 4Q 2014



Palm Beach, FL

FDN Board Meeting - 4Q 2014



Palm Beach, FL

Convention Sales Summit



Chicago, IL

Industry Customer Advisory Board




Destinations Showcase Chicago



Chicago, IL

3. Leverage and Protect Resources

A. Destination and Travel Foundation - Planned Giving Strategy
The Foundation is transitioning from conducting a major fundraising campaign every five years or so to a planned giving strategy. This transition is recommended based upon the fundraising and economic environment - and to focus on fundraising that underwrites significant research, education and resources critical to advancing the DMO industry.  Stay tuned for levels of investment in these important projects - so you may earmark dollars in your 2015 budgets.