DMAI Taps Into Its Membership to Source Best Practices

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has established three initiative-driven committees focused on the areas of advocacy, technology and social responsibility. Part of the committees' goals is to create best practices for use among destination marketing organizations, such as convention and visitors bureaus, to drive group tourism business and improve relationships with stakeholders.

These areas of strategic interests were identified within DMAI's "Futures Study," published by the Destination & Travel Foundation, a consolidation of the charitable and educational arms of DMAI and the U.S. Travel Association, in July 2008. Since the report, the industry has pledged more than $4 million to the Destination Excellence campaign to support activities to advance the destination marketing industry in those three areas.

"These committees are the backbone for having candid discussion, creating best practices and recommendations, and developing tools on behalf of the association and industry," said Dan Fenton, DMAI's board chair and the president and CEO of Team San Jose, the marketing agency for the northern California city.

The Advocacy Committee will consider partnerships and resources to help communicate the value of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to their customers and stakeholders. Members of this group have already provided several tools to help DMOs with stakeholder communication. Examples include a grassroots video shared by Visit Denver, a study of visitor taxes and their impact on the local community from the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, and a case study on transparency, media scrutiny, and public funding from the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In the area of technology, a committee will focus on identifying and providing solutions for DMOs to enhance the level of electronic sophistication, intuitiveness, and interaction that drive customer attention. "EmpowerMint.com is a huge part of this initiative and has several volunteers working on its advancement," Fenton said. "However, the Technology Committee will identify other technology solutions such as CRM, mobile marketing, and social media to enhance the success of our members."

The social responsibility group will look for industry opportunities to provide solutions that combine a rewarding travel experience with sustainable economic development.

"DMAI members and industry partners have actively responded to the call for volunteers," said Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of DMAI. "Approximately 30 individuals have volunteered for each committee."

The Technology and Social Responsibility committees had initial meetings in December; the Advocacy Committee will have a conference call in January. Additional meetings will take place throughout 2010.

Individuals still interested in participating can request more information by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

DMAI has over 2,500 DMO professionals, students, educators, and industry vendors and partners as members. The Washington, DC-based industry group has membership representation of 650 destination marketing organizations in over 30 countries.

—Nielsen Business Media