Destination marketing organizations reside in a constantly changing landscape. Whether it’s keeping up with new marketing channels and trends, or balancing the promotion of tourism with the concerns of the local community, the role and priorities of DMOs is in a constant state of flux.

Our newest Skift Research report, Destination Marketing Trends 2018, takes a closer look at some of the major themes and challenges in destination marketing this year. It begins by discussing the evolving role of the destination marketing organization (DMO), followed by a closer look at how they can better attract repeat visitors. The report ends with an overview of some of the key updates for DMOs since our report The State of Destination Marketing 2017 published last year.

Last week we launched the latest report in our Skift Research service, Destination Marketing Trends 2018.

Below is an excerpt of the report. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.

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BEYOND TOURISTS: MARKETING TO INDUSTRY AND ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY DIALOGUE

As DMOs continue to evolve into brand managers, it may be time for them to expand their reach outside of the tourism industry. Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy, an agency that works extensively with the tourism industry, believes that DMOs can play a greater role in representing their destinations. “DMOs need to expand their roles within cities or destinations, and position themselves as the stewards and managers of the city’s brand — not only for tourism, but for talent attraction and investment as well,” he writes on the Resonance blog. “No other organization in a destination has the funding or expertise to do it, and by assuming that role, a DMO can expand its value proposition to the community it serves.”

“I think you will see destinations take a larger ownership stake in building a sense of place,” said Staci Mellman, vice president, brand for VISIT FLORIDA. “Instead of marketing the destination as it currently exists — totally dependent on the organic experiences that are created over time — I think we will see DMOs partner with local leaders, developers, and businesses to influence the evolution of their destination,” she continued.

Fair also suggests that DMOs take this a step further, not only focusing on inbound tourists and convention attendees, but also making a point of interacting with locals. “DMOs often monitor visitor satisfaction with the destination, but they rarely interact with local residents,” he continued, suggesting DMOs add an additional M for “management” to their identities. “Evolving into a DMMO means the organization needs to spend as much time communicating with, monitoring, and measuring resident satisfaction as they do with visitors.”

This approach to destination management is increasingly important in destinations where overtourism is an issue. Major factors include growth in the tourism industry along with a major upsurge in budget-friendly flights and an increasing number of accommodations available through Airbnb. This has left destinations such as Venice and Prague in dire need of proper strategies to keep inbound tourism at healthy but manageable levels while ensuring that tourism has a positive, not distressing, impact on local residents’ quality of life.

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Photo Credit: Tourists walk through a destination. The role of DMOs is constantly changing to best serve tourists and local communities alike. geng geng / Pexels