DMO Development Program

· May 7, 2020

What is the DMO Development Program?

This online Destination Management Organization (DMO) Development Program is aimed at improving the capacity and understanding of DMO. Join international DMO Development expert, Chris Seek the CEO of Solimar International, for a 4-month online professional and organizational development program designed to help transition your DMO into a financially sustainable and impactful organization that leads your destination’s development, marketing, and management efforts. The program was developed in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, designed to be practical and based on real world examples and best practices. The learning content and outputs are based on Destinations International’s Destination Management Accreditation Program (DMAP) Standards and the UNWTO.QUEST Certification Programme developed by DMO industry professionals.

What will I learn?

Topics covered in this program include:

  • Ensuring effective DMO governance, board participation, and workforce recruitment and development
  • COVID-19 restart and recovery action planning for tourism in your destination
  • Developing and securing new funding streams for your organization
  • Strengthening private sector participation in DMO activities
  • Developing and delivering in-person and online visitor services before, during, and after a trip
  • Branding and marketing strategies, from traditional advertising to social media campaigns and communication
  • Safeguarding sustainable destination development by protecting cultural and natural resources
  • DMO and destination monitoring, evaluation, and reporting

How will I learn?

The 16-week development program will provide weekly online learning content to introduce the session topic and best practices from DMOs around the world. DMO staff will be able to login and access the program content online and go through the learning program at their own pace. Interviews and presentations from US and European DMO professionals will also be part of each week’s learning content. Once a week, each participating DMO will participate in a live virtual discussion with Chris Seek to discuss the learning sessions and how this information can be applied to your DMO. During this discussion the weekly assignment will be introduced along with templates and examples to help each DMO apply what they have learned to produce their own outputs to be used in their DMO.

What will I produce?

Learning outcomes for the course are designed to be practical and immediately implementable in your destination. Each week, you will complete an assignment based around the weekly theme covered in the online learning sessions. You will utilize the online portal to track and upload these documents, and program staff will provide one-on-one support in tailoring, creating, editing, and branding these documents. By the end of the 16-week program, you will have produced the following documents to support your DMOs development and effectiveness:

  • COVID-19 Phased Recovery Strategy and Action Plan for your destination
  • DMO Foundational Documents, including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Conflict of Interest Policy
  • DMO Director and Board of Directors Job Descriptions, Responsibility Matrix, and Recruitment Strategy
  • DMO Board Policy Document, providing context and clarity to board members about their job descriptions and responsibilities
  • DMO Operational Budget and Projections from New Revenue Streams
  • Visitor Services Policy Guidelines and Sales & Commission Agreements with Industry Partners
  • Destination Development Strategy to guide the management and development of tourism growth in your destination
  • Branding and Marketing Plan, including a branding strategy, new or updated DMO and destination logo, brand identity kit, and marketing plan for your destination
  • Online Tourism Information System & Database to store and organize your content for destination marketing and management
  • Revised and updated website for your DMO, including content and technical editing assistance
  • Visitor Guide Template and Branding Assistance
  • Membership Outreach Materials, including member on-boarding letter, branded outreach documents, member portal, and invoicing system
  • Visitor Voluntary Contribution Fee Establishment, including agreements with industry partners and visitor communication materials
  • Content Marketing and Communications Plan, including social media calendars, content production and editing assistance, and online content database
  • DMO Performance Monitoring Dashboard, including visitor surveys, resident surveys, and stakeholder surveys to monitor and evaluate DMO performance
  • DMO Annual Report, formatted and branded according to your brand strategy

Will I have support to produce my outputs?

You will receive one-one-one support and guidance from a team of tourism and destination development professionals in producing the outputs and ensuring they are effectively implemented in your destination. Through email support, Slack channel communication, and one-on-one interviews in discussions, our program team will ensure that you have the support you need effectively implement course learnings in your destination. Our team of designers will help you to format documents such as Branding and Marketing Plans and Annual Reports in a visually appealing manner that is reflective of your destination and DMO brand. We will also provide technical and content editing assistance for improving and updating your destination website and other materials.

What else is included in the course?

Developed in collaboration with the UNWTO, this course is designed to help your DMO obtain QUEST certification for those that demonstrate they meet the standards. The Certification is designed to help DMOs to assess, audit, and meet objectives in three key areas: Strategic Leadership, Effective Execution, and Efficient Governance. UNWTO.QUEST certification:

  • Provides a global framework of standards and criteria to evaluate DMO’s effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Strengthens DMO’s commitment with quality and excellence in tourism management.
  • Enhances competitiveness and sustainability of tourism destinations through the improvement of DMOs.
  • Acknowledges DMO’s quality and excellence, by awarding the UNWTO.QUEST Certification.

UNWTO.QUEST certification is valid for four years after it is awarded, for DMOs that have successfully complied with the Certification’s criteria and standards. Those that demonstrate their ability to meet these standards throughout the course may be eligible for funding to obtain certification.

How do I register and when do we start?

Click on the link at the top of this page to register for the program. Access is available to as many DMO staff as you like, but each must register separately. We ask that at least one DMO staff member with English language skills be assigned the responsibility of producing the outputs for this program. For questions, please contact Chloe King at [email protected]


Course Content

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MONTH 4: DMO Operations and Policies
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Course Includes

  • 17 Lessons
  • 89 Topics
  • 49 Quizzes