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The best tool for marketing your destination might just be your culture.


Tourism marketing has gone through a sea change in the last fifteen years. For many destinations, the focal point of the marketing efforts was a full-page ad in Sunset magazine and booth at a trade show. A lot has changed for sure over the past two decades. Technology, including the internet and interactive advertising, and social media long ago, reshaped the tourism marketing landscape to include various tools and channels to distribute destination content.

These technology marketing tools have brought real benefit to destination marketing organizations in having the ability to target desired customer segments and measure the effectiveness each of the channels has in connecting with those desire target segments.

Basic Destination Technology Marketing Model

Overall the system has become a boon to tourism destination is creating a simplified and practical approach to getting a message out. To improve the system's effectiveness, much effort has been placed on creating efficiencies in reaching target segments. Media planners are constantly looking for an improved "cost per thousand" or CPM to improve the efficiencies for their DMO clients. The basic model stays the same but with the ever-increasing emphasis on more efficiency.

The challenge with this approach, which can be found in just about every DMO in the country, is that many assume that this model is "a strategy." Many a DMO marketing executive or ad agency executive will wax poetically about their marketing strategy designed to increase awareness and generate visits to their destination. They will, in large part, be talking about this basic approach.