Why should tour and activity operators actively participate in marketing efforts being driven by state and regional destination marketing organisations (DMOs)?

When you get tourists to pick your destination over another, you and your industry peers receive more bookings and revenue!

Here’s a breakdown of what destination marketing is, and how you can work with DMOs.

What is destination marketing?

Sustainable Tourism defines destination marketing as the process of communicating with potential visitors to influence:

  • Their destination preference.
  • Their intention to travel.
  • Ultimately, their final decision and product choices.

DMOs are government bodies that become the faces of your destination – they are responsible for representing the values, vision, and competitive attributes of a destination.

Their sole goal is to promote your town, city, or region to increase the number of visitors. More visitors means more money being pumped into the economy through paying for local activities, accommodation, and food. Learn the difference between destination marketing and branding.

How can tour operators work with DMOs?

To help their respective destinations become the most attractive option, tour and activity operators should band together alongside other travel operators in order to promote their destination.

Those who you think are your competition aren’t really your competition. In fact, they are your partners, because you can work together to make your destination shine. Your real competition is the town next door.

There are three crucial elements of a traveler’s stay – hotel, transport, and tours & activities. Package your products with other operators to make it even easier for the traveler to enjoy their stay.

There are 2 ways of going about this:

  • Be a part of your DMO’s custom itineraries based on visitor interest or neighborhood.
  • Partner with other operators and create your own offering. Then, approach your DMO. Your DMO should be more than happy to promote this.

When travelers conduct online research, their biggest challenge is sifting through all of the information to find what they’re looking for. By banding together to promote your destination you’re making it as convenient as possible for them to plan their trip.

What kinds of packages can you create for your destination?

In terms of coming up with your own offering, it’s crucial to know what attracts people to your destination. What makes it unique? Use that to create your experience offering.

Some packages and themes that you can use:

  • Romance (scenic flights, hot air balloon, cruise)
  • Adventure (4wd, abseiling, mountain biking, water sports, hiking)
  • Eco tourism (farm tours, bushawalking, kayaking)
  • Food and drink (tours, tastings, classes)
  • History (museum, walking tour)
  • Events (celebrations, sporting events and concerts)

If yours is a seasonal business, you can get creative. For example, if you offer kayaking in the summer, turn it into ice skating in the winter. Give customers another reason to visit your destination.

Automate bookings from DMOs

One thing to be aware of is booking management. Managing DMO commission on each booking can be a bit of hassle, so make sure your online booking system can support this.

For example, Rezdy allows you to find DMOs to partner with. DMOs take bookings on your behalf, you set the commission, and Rezdy makes sure the DMO is paid the right amount. Rezdy also creates a report so it’s all there in black and white and there’s no room for disputes.

If you’re interested in understanding how that works, reach out to our friendly sales team.

You can also download our free ebook to keep learning about distributing your tourism products:

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