DMAI Awards Largest Ever Group of DMO Accreditations

In the application cycle ending Dec. 31, 2008, the Washington, D.C.-based Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) awarded its Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) accreditation to 17 destination marketing organizations—its largest group ever—it announced yesterday.

"This application cycle marks another set of milestones," DMAI President and CEO Michael D. Gehrisch said in a statement. "In addition to bestowing accreditation to the largest group of DMOs in the history of the program, we also accredited a second European DMO. The growth of the program reinforces that DMAP accreditation is the global seal of excellence for DMOs, and signifies the growing value of the program to the destination marketing industry."

Developed by DMAI, the DMAP accreditation program is meant to recognize organizations that "meet or exceed industry standards." In order to be accredited, DMOs must successfully complete a rigorous application process that proves their compliance with 54 mandatory standards and 33 voluntary ones, covering everything from governance, finance and human resources to technology, services and sales.

The following 17 DMOs have attained accreditation status for 2009-2013:

• Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (LA)
• Butler County Visitors Bureau (OH)
• Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau (GA)
• Go Wichita (KS)
• Greater Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau (SC)
• Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau (AZ)
• Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (IN)
• Lake Placid Essex County Convention & Visitors Bureau (NY)
• Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau (NM)
• Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association (VA)
• Meeting in Brugge - Congresbureau (Belgium)
• Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PA)
• Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (IL)
• San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (CA)
• Southwest Louisiana/Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau (LA)
• Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau (PA)
• Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism (Canada)

"We are proud to recognize these organizations for their achievement," said DMAP Board Chair Christine Shimasaki, CDME, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for the San Diego CVB. "Their accreditation underscores their dedication to providing exceptional leadership and commitment to the professionalism of DMOs across the globe."

Currently, a total of 85 DMOs have DMAP accreditation. For more information, including a complete list of accredited DMOs, visit www.destinationmarketing.org.