Tourism Marketing Is Evolving Quickly With These New Priorities

Nov 5, 2021

During the spring of 2020, destination marketing organizations (DMO) saw their primary and often sole source of revenue vanish along with travelers, all while their roles ballooned from becoming a primary safety information hub to advocating for funding, embracing destination stewardship and forging new relationships with residents, government and businesses. 

Close to two years later, new data further cements what destination leaders have been sharing with Skift over the past year — that the transformed and expanded tourism board model is here to stay. Over 76 percent of U.S. tourism boards rank destination management among their top five key responsibilities, according to a newly released 2021 Funding Futures survey and report by strategic marketing firm Miles Partnership, in collaboration with Civitas, Tourism Economics, and Destination Analysts. The report will release in full later today, but results were announced in a webinar on Tuesday.

The survey is an update of an earlier 2020 report and analyzes responses from 80 U.S. DMOs, 21 U.S. state tourism offices and four Canadian tourism boards, with updated data and recommendations for DMOs in a post-pandemic world in which tourism is back yet changed.

Skift Take

Developing more innovative and stable sources of funding remains critical for this important, expanded destination management role to succeed. Some DMOs are on it, but many more continue to rely primarily on hotel bed taxes. Is the rapid return of travel dampening the sense of urgency?

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