Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Development Toolkit

Starting a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Guide and Toolkit

  • Client: Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI)
  • Partners: Destination & Travel Foundation; The International Institute for Tourism Studies (IITS) at the George Washington University
  • Project Duration: January 2015 – May 2015

Project Overview

Solimar developed an interactive educational toolkit that will help tourism authorities to create or enhance a destination marketing organization that meets the requirements for DMAI’s Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). The toolkit covers each of the DMAP’s core components: Governance and finance; human resources and technology; marketing; individual and group visitor services; sales and communications; membership; management and facilities; destination development and research/market intelligence; stakeholder relationships.

Each toolkit chapter contains:

  • Introductions to key tourism and destination marketing concepts
  • Worksheets and templates to develop strategic documents
  • Meeting agendas and workshop scripts used to support the decision making process and build stakeholder consensus
  • Operational checklists
  • Sample RFPs and job descriptions for full-time staff and consultants
  • List of approved/vetted professional services
  • A list of related online and print resources
  • Timely case studies
  • Terminology and vocabulary

The toolkit is designed as a multi-platform online resource.

As the global trade association for official destination marketing organizations (DMOs), this toolkit is yet another resource provide by DMAI to the tourism industry to ensure their success in the global tourism landscape and create engaged stewards of their communities’ resources and quality of life.

Major Activities

  • Deep background research of academic publications and practical tools already developed by global tourism organizations.
  • Interviews with DMO professionals that have demonstrated excellence or innovation in each of the toolkit categories. DMOs were selected with different locations, operational budgets, and management structures.
  • Pilot tests with additional Solimar tourism development programs in the Verde Valley of Arizona, Northeastern Sri Lanka, and Malawi, among others.
  • Reviewed for content by tourism professionals
  • Professional digital layout


  • Established DMAI as a global resource for developing destinations looking to invest in tourism as a key driver of socio-economic progress through export revenues, the creation of jobs and enterprises, and infrastructure development.
  • Built awareness and engagement opportunities for DMAI internationally, particularly with national and regional DMOs who are seeking a resource to support smaller communities within their destinations.
  • Laid groundwork for DMAP accreditation program as the universal standard for organizational excellence by promoting accreditation standards as the baseline for completely new DMOs and supporting their move to accreditation to recently established DMOs.
  • Expanded DMAI’s professional development internationally by forming relationships with international tourism and development organizations, as well as national and regional DMOs.


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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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