It’s no secret that continuing education and certifications require a significant investment of staff time and a hefty budget line item for many Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). However, at its most basic level, a DMO’s mandate is to leverage their budget to be a positive force behind the economic impact of travel and tourism on their local economy. And investing in the professional development of your team can be a major factor in the fulfillment of this mandate.
As a strategy, marketing and solutions firm serving the travel and tourism industry, we want to be able to help DMOs define and achieve success so that they can positively impact their community’s economy. To that end, we believe that investing in continuing education and certifications for our staff will better equip them to help our clients achieve their goals. Since the professionals at Stamp are primarily marketing focused, we have chosen to send several staff members through Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College. We currently have two destination marketing specialists with their TMP designation on staff and a third staff member entering their 3rd year.
Learn from the best
Travel and tourism continuing education and certification programs offered by Destination International and Southeast Tourism Society are excellent examples of thorough programs led by a diverse cross section of some of the travel industry’s most highly regarded professionals. They readily volunteer their time to participate in the process of educating and helping industry professionals attain various certifications including the CDME (Certified Destination Management Executive), the PDM (Professional in Destination Management) and the TMP (Travel Marketing Professional).
These programs also provide unique networking opportunities that facilitate the development of lasting professional relationships with travel and tourism peers as well as industry leaders. And because program participants are from across the travel and tourism spectrum—from attractions, lodging providers, CVBs both small and large, professional service organizations, etc.—the breadth of shared perspectives and experience is immeasurable. Furthermore, the process of working to earn the CDME, PDM and TMP designations puts individuals in the same room with like-minded travel and tourism professionals who are facing many of the same challenges—allowing industry peers to put their collective heads together and come up with effective solutions for the most pressing problems of the day.
In any industry, obtaining relevant certifications can help individuals reinforce their authority as industry experts, and travel and tourism professionals are not exempt from this rule. We’re very familiar with the challenges travel and tourism organizations face when advocating for their destination—especially regarding the fight to maintain, increase and/or diversify their funding. And while having certifications is not a be-all and end-all solution, it is a way to effectively familiarize DMO professionals with data, industry trends and research and to help grow the confidence needed to validate the worth of your organization.