Do you work with your local destination marketing organization (DMO)? If the answer to that question is no or ‘what is a DMO’, you are missing out on one of the most valuable resources to grow your business.DMO is an organization, typically affiliated with a local government, whose mission is to attract leisure and business travelers and promote the destination. This can be a visitors bureau or a tourism board and they work to help local businesses reach these potential customers.
At Arival Las Vegas, Claire Carlin, the VP for partnerships and alliances for Destination DC explained the advantages that operators receive by joining these organizations.
Carlin explains how these organizations provide more than just PR for a destination. They also have access to large amounts of specific data about the types of people that are visiting the city and provide this information to their members. This data can help an operator tailor their experience to what customers are looking for. For example, if the data is showing an uptick of inbound Chinese travelers, you may have to change your marketing strategy.
Another thing to consider is that DMOs often have political connections with the city. These relationships can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to navigate local bureaucracies. You can also use them as a heads up for what conventions are coming to town and then market to business travelers.
Beyond these direct services, you can’t put a price on becoming part of your local community. You get to meet fellow business owners and can help you form bonds that will benefit your business in unexpected ways. While interviewing operators around the world the number one piece of advice we hear is to get involved in local business organizations.