DMO Formation Course

· February 18, 2021

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Course Description

What is the DMO Formation Program?

Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), sometimes referred to as Destination Marketing Organizations, are often the best advocates for the collaborative development, management, and marketing of tourism in a region. DMOs can become the facilitators between governments, private sector stakeholders, and residents, using tourism to advocate for economic development and protect natural and cultural resources. In this role the DMO catalyzes tourism development while ensuring cultural preservation and mitigating tourism’s negative impacts to the environment and local customs/traditions.


This online DMO Formation Program is designed to build a new destination management organization that unifies the many different tourism entities of a given region. Alongside Stacia Morfin (Chief Executive Officer, Nez Perce Tourism, LLC) and Chris Seek (CEO, Solimar International), community leaders will join together for a series of seven-workshops over 7 weeks to highlight and alleviate the inconsistencies that exist amongst the region’s tourism entities.


What will I learn?

The DMO Formation program will explore the importance of management and marketing inside a region’s travel ecosphere as community leaders unite to establish an organization that ushers in tourism in a sustainable fashion. During this 8-week course, the destination’s tourism leaders will come together to identify and synthesize the many challenges faced (and successes achieved) by the region’s stakeholders and ultimately yield a newly formed destination management organization.


Using a bottom-up, collaborative approach, each weeks’ course work will be designed to construct a foundation in which this new, sustainability-centric DMO will stand upon. Topics covered will include:

  1. Feasibility assessment of a destination management organization, including how to conduct asset inventorying
  2. Establishing a tourism leadership committee
  3. Destination visioning and planning
  4. Exploration of various funding models
  5. DMO business planning and formation, including the drafting of articles of incorporation, bylaws and declarations
  6. Gaining public sector support via government resolutions and legislation necessary for the official recognition of then newly founded DMO
  7. Formation of the DMO’s governance structure and staff/volunteer roles
  8. Developing a tourism plan for the region


How will I learn?

The DMO Formation course is an 8-week virtual program built for tourism leaders and area stakeholders to learn at their own pace. Links to learning sessions will be accessible to participants each week via their online learning portal and will include:

  • a pre-recorded class centered around the week’s learning topics
  • instructions for a weekly assignment
  • an expert interview with a well-respected tourism industry leader

Each week, learners will participate in a one-hour live virtual session moderated by Solimar International CEO Chris Seek during which a review of the course module will precede a listening session built to apply lessons learned to your specific region.


What will I produce?

Participants of the DMO Formation Course will be assigned a task each week designed to give voice to each of the individual communities and stakeholders inside the destination. 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. Course leaders will be on-hand and available to offer support for learners during their completion of weekly tasks.


Upon the completion of the DMO Formation Program, your destination will be left with a financially sustainable and impactful organization that champions tourism development, marketing, management, and cultural preservation.


The documents and deliverables that will be produced throughout the 8-week course include:

  • DMO Feasibility Study
  • Inventory of all tourism assets and stakeholders
  • Recommendations for a Board of Directors and Leadership Committee, as well as job descriptions, responsibility matrix
  • Board Policy Documents, including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Declarations
  • Resolutions and other governing documents to be shared with public officials
  • Five-Year Destination Vision Plan


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 any tourism leader or stakeholder with your given destination, but each must register separately. For questions, please contact Derek Schimmel at [email protected]

The learning content and outputs are based on Destinations International’s Destination Management Accreditation Program (DMAP) Standards


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