Building aDestination Management Organization Brick by Brick
Implementing a Strong Foundation • How are you funded? • Who do you report to? • Do you have a job description? • What is your organization’s mission? • What are your primary markets? • What is in a name? • Establishing short and long term goals • On-going communication
INTERNAL OPERATIONS • Governing Board • Board of Directors (staggered terms/industry representatives) • Monthly Meetings • Minutes
INTERNAL OPERATIONS • Job Descriptions for all staff members • Policies & Procedures Manual • Budget
INTERNAL OPERATIONS • Determining your role/objectives/resources/service strategy • Planning Retreat with Facilitator: • What is your organization’s role/mission? • What are your short/long term objectives? • Identifying your resources • Developing and Posting your “Service Strategy”
INTERNAL OPERATIONS • Marketing Plan: • Inventory of Resources • Community Strengths & Weaknesses • “Achievable” Goals • Report Card of prior year • Traffic/Visitation Counts • Monthly Trade/Travel Show Schedule • Budget • Professional Affiliations
INTERNAL OPERATIONS • Marketing Plan: • Copies of plan to: • City/County Officials • Board Members • Staff • Offer it to your constituents
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Product Knowledge • What are your tourism products? • How well versed are you in them?
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Identify your markets….who are you targeting and how? • Motorcoaches • Sporting Tournaments • Leisure/Consumer • Conventions • Retirees and Snowbirds
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Communication: • Constituents (regular visits, newsletters, direct mail/phone calls) • City and County Officials (Copies of Minutes/Marketing Plan) • Civic Clubs/Organizations (Speakers Bureau; joining affiliated groups)
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Communication: • On-going “community awareness” • Press releases, Hospitality Training, Fam Trips • Capitalizing on “National Tourism Week
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Communication: • Cultivating your media: • Media Appreciation Events • Press Releases • Ideas for feature stories • Letters to the editor • Law Enforcement
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Promotional Items • Identify what your community is known for and “bottle it” • Products: i.e. Georgia Crackers, carpet, sand
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Step-on-Guide Service/Volunteers/Interns • Trade/Travel Shows…exhibit booth?…which ones? • Travel Writers (Press Kits/Fam Tours)
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Tracking…IS CRITICAL • Track the # of visitors, demographics, groups you service
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Training Programs: • Telephone Etiquette • Hospitality Training • Customer Service • Mystery Guest
EXTERNAL OPERATIONS • Image…is “everything”
BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING A TOURISM PROGRAM • 5 POINT CHECK-LIST • Conduct a visitor-demand study • Inventory existing resources • Position your city’s attractiveness among competing cities and towns • Develop and implement a destination marketing plan • Promote your city as one that delivers a “feel-good” experience
5 POINT CHECK-LIST 1. Conduct a visitor-demand study • Who is traveling to your city or town? • What are their demographics? (age, family type) • Visitor segments, needs and interests…
seniors, families, corporate business people • outdoor recreation, sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, business meetings • determine purpose of their trip • attitude about places traveled to and through • length of stay • size of travel party • reasons they would stay longer (new attractions, facilities, events, services) • Ask questions/conduct surveys…talk to your visitors!
5 POINT CHECK-LIST 2. Inventory existing resources • Primary reason people visit your area • Identify major generators of visitors • List “everything” to see and do • Survey tourism suppliers (hotels, restaurants, attractions)
5 POINT CHECK-LIST 3. Position your city’s attractiveness among competing cities and towns • Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats • Are you a “Keep America Beautiful” community? Do you work with and/or support area garden clubs/city and county public works departments to clean up/spruce up? (encourage hospitality related businesses to “Adopt-A-Spot”) • Is signage adequate, legible? • The ‘IMAGE’ of your community is critical in tourism promotion.
5 POINT CHECK-LIST 4. DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A DESTINATION MARKETING PLAN • Identify different visitor segments you want to target and determine benefits, appeals and incentives for each • Match your resources to the needs of each segment • Write a plan • Assign tourism-development and promotion • responsibilities and budget • Determine lodging tax formula and proper use of funds • Hire an expert to conduct a market study on the economic feasibility of proposed tourism-development projects
5 POINT CHECK-LIST 5. Promote your city as one that delivers a “feel-good” experience • Solicit continual local and regional support of your tourism-promotion efforts. • People “buy” travel destinations for the same reasons they “buy” other products…they want to experience pleasure, satisfaction and reward