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The DMO Evolution Continues...

Issue # 14 (253 Words/2 Minutes)

The DMO Evolution Continues...

There is another evolution in DMO organizations. There is a fascinating article on Vancouver’s shift from a classic demo to a social enterprise organization.

In the space of a couple of week, we've seen two very interesting directions in tourism. First, the Hawai’i Tourism Association’s funding of a local cultural organization instead of the Hawai’i Visitors Bureau and now Vancouver’s shift from a traditional DMO to a social enterprise organization that reinvests its revenues in socially positive initiatives and programs. In the case of Vancouver, they have rebranded the organization 4VI.

This name change reflects the four core pillars: community, business, culture, and environment. Will they work? That's the exciting part we get to see how these two bold experiments unfold.

Are these kinds of new approaches transferable to other DMOs and situations? Every destination has a different level of politics and funding, so it’s unclear. Will a local DMO funded by a Business Improvement District be able to make this kind of shift? Years ago, tourism was considered a “force for good’ because travel promoted understanding between different people and cultures. The 4VI model takes the concept of tourism as a force for good in a new direction. So many questions... It will be interesting to see what reinvestment in the community, business, culture, and environment looks like and how these efforts align with other organizations in those spaces.

At a minimum, there is a need for DMOs to move well beyond their traditional role of just tourism promotion. This new phase of DMO evolution should be very interesting…and exciting.

For more information contact Carl Ribaudo at

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