Everyone who is not familiar with the tourism sector from within would be forgiven for thinking that Destination Management Organizations (DMO) and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) are just about the same thing. But, as we are ready to show, their roles are very distinctive in their own right. Although both share extensive knowledge of a particular destination, the way in which they work, their overall objectives and how they interact with travelers is what earns them their own separate titles.

What is a DMO?

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines a destination management organization (DMO) as the leading organizational entity that facilitates partnerships with various authorities, stakeholders, and professionals to achieve a unified mission towards a destination’s vision. Destination management is a broad and holistic management process that includes managing marketing, local accommodations, tours, events, activities, attractions, transportation and more. In terms of both supply and demand approaches, the destination must try to draw attention from both visitors and private tourism markets.

A destination’s competitiveness and attractiveness comes from the use of effective, sustainable strategies and is based upon a balance of interests of all stakeholders inside the tourist destination. Within any tourism destination, the public sector designs the nation’s core identity with the mandate of national growth and advancement of the entire community; the private sector delivers the desire for future development with different goals and accountabilities; and the destination stakeholders are the entities connected together by travel experiences or through the tourism industry.

The DMO emerges as a key player in the development and management of tourism at the destination level with various functions. Depending on the potential needs, these functions may include strategic planning, implementation of the destination tourism policy, tourism product development, crisis management, quality improvement and assurance, workforce development, and sustaining the cultural heritage of the destination. A destination with an effective management plan usually possesses a high capacity for undertaking innovations and trends, while being more resilient to potential challenges and disruptions.

In resume, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) are the backbone of tourism destinations. They exist to promote destinations, attract visitors, and develop a regional economy. DMOs are responsible for everything from attracting major sporting events to promoting local festivals. They work with businesses to help them understand what travelers need to have an enjoyable experience.

What are the responsibilities of a DMO?

Successful DMOs and destination managers play an essential role in managing tourism at the local level to help attract tourists and support businesses within its boundaries. They’re also responsible for promoting it through positioning statements, branding campaigns, high-quality product development, effective communication with stakeholders (e.g., residents), and maximizing financial resources available from both public and private sources, while ensuring value for money spent on projects that meet overall objectives.

Contrary to popular belief, the overall objective for a DMO is not only to bring more tourists to the destination. It is to make tourism more sustainable and thus enjoyable for visitors for years to come. Hence, briefly, DMOs engage in a variety of activities that will help promote and develop sustainable travel practices, including:

  • Educating travelers about the destination’s attractions and offerings;
  • Marketing through targeted campaigns;
  • Working with other organizations on issues related to sustainability to achieve common goals;
  • Addressing resident concerns related to tourism.

The valuable assignments of a DMO

DMOs are committed to sustainable tourism and are of critical importance because they:

1. Take advantage of their destination’s unique potential

Every destination has something different and unique to offer. DMOs bring out that exclusivity to the front to portray the destination as a better attraction than other ones.

2. Conduct market research

Knowing what to do, how to do, and when to do it is an art. And DMOs are the masters at it. These organizations are able to conduct market research through their short and long-term strategies to elevate the destination’s status for years to come.

3.  Implement destination marketing strategies

For destinations, it is especially important to be visible online to guide potential visitors. Destination management organizations focus on marketing strategies to promote a destination’s events, products, services, landmarks, and attractions.

DMOs are responsible for promoting their city’s tourism industry through strategic advertising campaigns that reach target audiences with specific messages or information. This strategic destination content takes the form of social media, print collateral, co-sponsoring events, hosting influencers, working with the local chamber of commerce, and more! Look into the ways your local DMO promotes visitors coming to your home.

4. Drive economic growth in a sustainable way

In the 21st century, a sustainable economy is more important than ever. As travel becomes accessible to a wider range of people across all income brackets and cultures, destinations must promote tourism in a way that their economic growth remains sustainable. 

5. Attract Investment

Every destination needs to be the best it can be, and that includes marketing its own community to attract investors. Hence, DMOs are one of the most effective ways for destinations to market themselves in exactly the right way to draw more investment feasibly! This requires a collaborative approach from both public and private stakeholders.

6. Engage with stakeholders to develop more favorable conditions

DMOs take everyone on the path to sustainable and successful tourism. They not only cater to travelers, but also serve as an interface between visitors and local businesses; they can help develop new products or improve existing ones to meet the needs of both tourists and locals.

The difference between a DMO and a DMC

DMCs provide their services to the customer for a fee.  According to ADME , the Association of Destination Management Executives, a DMC is a “professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.”

You may choose to engage the services of a DMC after you have confirmed the hotel and facilities in a specific destination to “manage” the destination for you. Planners may have a multi-year contract with a large destination management company to organize events and provide transportation regardless of the chosen destination, similar to how they contract with audio-visual providers and decorators.

DMC’s work cooperatively with DMO’s, hotels, resorts, convention centers and venues. Like DMO’s they also have up-to-date information about the area. They will often work with a DMO during site inspections in order to display the best of the destination and provide an overall experience for the client with the intent of booking the business.

While the overall objective for a DMO is to bring programs to the destination, the primary goal of a DMC is to manage a seamless program from start to finish. Both organizations however, have the same intention: highlight the best of the destination and deliver an experience that leads to repeat business.

What services does a DMC offer?

This type of agency deals with organizing corporate trips and events.  This means planning the whole program as well as all the reservations and coordination: transport, accommodation, meetings, activities, restaurants, attendance…. The list can be very long because everything that the organization of an event entails: absolutely everything can be managed by a DMC. This demonstrates the support this means for another agency or company that is not familiar with the destination where the event is being held.

With a DMC, everything will be under professionals at all times. This increases confidence, making the job easier and guarantees that it will turn out well. Those imponderables will no longer be a problem with a person who knows the destination perfectly by your side. Discover a new way – easier, faster, simpler and uncomplicated – to plan an incentive trip. Click here to get know more our portfolio and bring your teams to Brazil with GT DMC.