Destination Curation

The evolving role of DMOs as Destination Management Organizations.

When we are facilitating the Marketing Action Planning process with clients, we often equate the role of DMOs as similar to curators of museums. Museum curators are not creating the art or selecting their own work to be collected and displayed by the museum for patrons, they are determining what works of art complement each other and what will be appealing to the audiences that are important to them. Their job is to know their audience and select art that will be compelling, moving, interesting, provocative, etc. to them or other audiences that they want to attract to their museum.

Think of Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) as curators of their destination. This means that DMOs are not creating or managing the various elements of their destination, they are facilitators of collaboration between the stakeholders that provide the elements that make up a destination: food, lodging, attractions, facilities, events, etc. DMOs are connectors, they are overall destination visitor experts, they are economic development professionals.

Curator: one who has the care and superintendence of something.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Since the audience for these Insights is the professionals that work inside DMOs, this message is likely music to your ears. However, while you might agree that this should be your role, you may not know how to convince your local elected officials, your board of directors, your local stakeholders, or maybe even some of your staff that being a curator of your destination is really the (correct) role of a DMO. We get it. But from now on, consider using the curator example every moment you can. Over time, the message will get through.

Posted in Destination Trend, DMO Challenges, DMO Collaboration, Insights, Marketing Strategy Tags