The Value of DMOs?


Sometimes it seems to be hard to understand from private tourism business or even from government, as well as from residents to pinpoint the true value of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).
DMOs have gotten under attack recently, and two examples illustrate the case – one more tongue and cheek, the other a bit more real-life.

Bill Geist posted an article on his post from the Pacific Daily News, that suggested that the Guam Visitors Bureau should be disbanded to use the funds to build a museum. Of course, you cannot just disbandon a government agency to build a museum – or can you?

In Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, the DMO’s tourism funding has been cut in the city’s budget just recently. In an article in the Ottawa Business Journal, Jacques Burelle, President of Ottawa Tourism was quoted that their entire funding is completely eliminated from the City of Ottawa. ($500,000 is). Ottawa is now unique among major centres in this part of Canada,

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he said. It will now rely almost entirely on the private sector to advertise its tourist

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sites, at least for the time being.

Interesting to say the least. At the last Wired Travel Asia Conference in Singapore last November, Roger Carter spoke about his opinion that tourism boards have no God-given right to exist and could be rendered

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obsolete by a slew of factors that are changing the the way consumers seek information on destinations and buy their travel.

It just reminds us that Destination marketers need to make sure to create value to industry and consumers (and probably also to tax payers and residents), and have to constantly measure success and prove their existance.


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2008-03-26 18:27:08

[…] A raíz de un artículo de Jens Thraenhart dónde se hacia eco de las dudas existentes acerca de la validez de las Destination Management Organizations (DMO), es interesante recordar un poco que debería ser y hacer una DMO para valorar si es una […]

Comment by Jaime Horwitz
2008-05-02 19:09:42

I have wondered that myself. And I agree that the onus is on the DMO’s to prove to their stakeholders that they create value for them. Justa as any other organization. How should a DMO be evaluated? Who should and who is responsible for evaluating one or another DMO?

Comment by Paul Martin
2009-08-13 05:00:26

Don’t be naive ! DMO’s are first of all political structures. All this is political matter, not a business issue


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