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The Futures Study – Strategic Map for Destination Marketing

Posted by TeamITI on August 8, 2008

The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Foundation has released a major study, The Future of Destination Marketing: Tradition, Transition, and Transformation. – The study enables destination marketing professionals to understand and respond to strategic trends and developments shaping the industry.

“The key emerging themes from the study are relevance, visibility and value propositions,” said Richard Green, chair of the DMAI Foundation Board of Trustees and president of association business development and strategic partnerships for Marriott International, Inc.

“Our goal was to provide a study that identifies the most important trends and developments as perceived by destination marketing experts. The study provides a strategic framework for all destination marketing organizations (DMOs), their staffs and stakeholders to plan for the future of their destinations.”

In addition to the three key themes, eight globally-focused “super-trends” surfaced. These overarching summary statements capture the essence of more than 200 detailed trends that were identified in the environmental scan.

The eight super-trends are:

Proliferating Preferences, The Battle for Attention, Dodging Asteroids, Smart and Friendly Websites, The Electronic Society, The Quest for Relevance, Mixed Signals from Government and Going Green.

The most significant outcome of the study is a clarification of the role and contribution a DMO provides to the destination it serves. This is illuminated in a new “strategic map” that portrays the DMO fulfilling four key roles.

“This strategic map is truly a core element of destination marketing,” said Michael D. Gehrisch,
president and CEO of DMAI. “The map is the answer to concerns about relevance, visibility and value proposition. Implemented properly, it clearly conveys the four key roles that a DMO fulfills for a community competing for visitors.”

“The 2008 Futures Study provides a foundation that we can use to redefine our relevance in the eyes of our stakeholders,” said Maura Allen Gast, FCDME, executive director of the Irving Texas CVB, chair of DMAI’s Futures Study Taskforce and DMAI board chair, 2008-09.

“The trends and themes discussed in the report may be global, but the opportunities are mostly local. I encourage every DMO executive to read the report and apply the findings at their own level.”

More detail on the super-trends, key themes, the strategic DMO map, and the top twenty DMO-related trends are included in the 84-page report. The full report and all supporting resources are available complimentary for DMAI members to download at

Non-members may purchase the report and accompanying CD for US$250.


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