DMOs Must Prove Their Work Boosts Revenue
Destination marketing is a massive international industry, with stakeholders including countries, state and local governments, public-private entities, hotels, airlines, restaurants, attractions and other important swaths of local and regional economies. Spending in 2016, for example, exceeded more than $400 billion worldwide.
Given that, it's no surprise that spending by destination marketing organizations (DMOs) is a huge engine of economic growth. Tourism creates jobs, generates tax revenue, boosts local real estate values, retail volumes and more.
This level of massive spending has gone on for years, interrupted periodically by decision-makers questioning the effectiveness and efficiency of various expenditures on programs, staffing levels and other costs — as, for example, in Florida.
The reason, however, is not a disconnect by policymakers who fail to understand the importance of tourism. It is a failure by DMOs to prove a ROI, which enables policymakers to challenge expenditure levels and, frequently, to cut the level of expenditures when budgets are tight and leaders are under pressure to save money wherever possible.