DMO Development

A virtual learning program to transition your DMO into a financially sustainable and impactful organization

The role of a Destination Management Organization (DMO) is to responsibly manage and market tourism within a specific area. DMOs help to establish a competitive edge for the destination, ensure long-term sustainability, strengthen institutional governance, and build a strong and vibrant brand identity around your destination. DMOs are absolutely essential for sustainable tourism management, which is why Solimar is dedicated to helping establish a DMO from start to finish.

Solimar offers an exciting 16-week virtual DMO Development program, both for brand new DMOs or DMOs that hope to strengthen the institutional capacity and abilities of their staff. This program is designed to help transition your DMO into a financially sustainable and impactful organization that leads your destination’s development, marketing, management, and research efforts. The program developed in collaboration with Jennifer Wesselhoff, President and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, is 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 developed by DMO industry professionals.

If you or your DMO are interested in participating in this course, please fill out an interest form below to join the waiting list. Current courses are running with a dozen DMOs in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia. More details on the course are below. Please complete the form below if you are interested in future iterations of this course. 

What will I learn?

Topics covered in this program include:

  • The role of DMO governance & ensuring effective board participation
  • COVID-19 recovery action planning for your destination
  • Developing new funding streams for your organization
  • Strengthening private sector participation in DMO activities
  • Developing and delivering offline and online visitor services before, during, and after a trip
  • Branding and marketing strategies (online and off)
  • Sustainable destination management and protecting cultural and natural resources
  • DMO monitoring 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 Solimar CEO 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?

Each week, you will complete an assignment based around the weekly theme covered in the online learning sessions. You will be given a worksheet to develop materials for a specific DMO. For example, you may develop a marketing plan by ranking target markets in order of priority, thinking through what the destination offers to that specific market segment. The online learning platform will track your progress and provide support such as reviewing and editing as needed. At the end of this 16-week program you will produce the following to support your DMOs development and effectiveness:

  • COVID-19 Phased Recovery Strategy and Action Plan for your destination
  • DMO Director and Board of Directors Job Descriptions, Responsibility Matrix
  • DMO Board Policy Document (provides clarity to board members about their roles and expectations)
  • DMO Operational Budget and Projections from New Revenue Streams
  • Visitor services policy guidelines and sales/commission agreements with industry partners
  • Branding strategy, brand identity (logo), and marketing plan for your destination
  • Online Tourism Information System/Database and content development plan
  • Updated or new website for your DMO
  • A printed visitor guide for your destination
  • Membership outreach materials, on-boarding letter, and invoicing system
  • Establishment of a visitor voluntary contribution fee with support from private sector partners
  • Content marketing and communications plan
  • DMO Performance monitoring dashboard, visitor surveys, enterprise surveys, and annual DMO report

How do I register and when do we start?

The next course will be available for DMOs in the Fall of 2020. Please fill out the interest form below to join the waiting list.

  • Approximately how many people from your destination would be interested in participating in this course?
  • When would you be interested in starting the course?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Project Examples

  • Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Development Toolkit

    Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Development Toolkit

    Starting a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Guide and Toolkit
  • Republic of Georgia DMO Development Course

    Republic of Georgia DMO Development Course

    A four month online professional and organizational development program designed to help transition Georgian DMOs into a financially sustainable and impactful organization that leads the destination’s successful development, marketing, management, and research efforts for their destination regions.

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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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