The Simpleview team took the pulse of destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to better understand who, what, and how they will evolve over the next few years. More than 100 DMOs responded to the questionnaire, and initial results were shared at Simpleview’s annual Summit in April. In this edition, we dive deeper into the results centered around community alignment.
Destination organizations worldwide are redefining their roles, and among the DMOs surveyed in March 2022, 20.3% believe that community alignment is their most important issue. This is second only to economic development, which 23.2% of DMOs indicated was their top issue. A slightly smaller number of 19.25% believe community alignment should be their number one priority.
So what is community alignment? We let survey respondents tell us, and here’s a sample of the responses:
- “Everyone working on and towards a common goal for a better community. Having all sectors on the same page about where we want to go as a community.”
- “Affordable live, work, play communities.”
- “Aligning a DMO's mission with the needs and values of the destination's communities.”
- “A community that understands and supports your mission.”
“Create stronger communities by aligning public, private, and civic sectors to drive destination performance. Ensure everyone knows the clear brand of the destination and the value they can contribute to make their community a better place.”
— ANONYMOUS Future of Tourism survey respondent
Is Your DMO Actively Working On Community Alignment Initiatives?
What is Your DMO's Main Area of Focus in Terms of Community Alignment?
Where are your current community engagement efforts focused?
A full 84% of DMO respondents are actively working on community engagement and alignment efforts. Efforts include relationship building (20.6%), advocacy (14%), and increasing involvement (14%). About 13% of DMOs report they get involved in community-based initiatives.
Examples of ways their DMOs engage in community alignment included:
- Hosting a cultural and heritage workshop to bring together stakeholders to prioritize how to better represent the destination to visitors
- Forming a workforce task group to address the worker shortage
- Supporting the live music scene through a recovery fund and offering financial support to local venues to hire local musicians
- Working with the indigenous community to ensure respectful tourism practices
- About a quarter of responding DMOs (23.5%) reported that they haven’t identified anyone to serve as a resource for community engagement, while 58% of DMOs have a dedicated staff member for their efforts. About 18% of DMOs rely on external partners.
To read more about the Future of Tourism survey results, check out “DMO survey results: the Future of Tourism sustainability edition” and “DMO survey results: what will be the future of tourism?”