DMOs are making a bigger impact on their communities now more than ever before by aligning forces with economic development organizations. It's the "1+1=3" phenomenon, or the idea that two heads are better than one, or said another way, strength in numbers always prevails. No matter what you want to call it, the outcome, as we see it, is the same: When tourism entities and economic development organizations conspire together, the end result is more advantageous for each. Destination marketing organizations are able to attract more visitors, and see an increase in overnight stays and RevPAR. For EDOs, it means heightened visibility, more conversations with prospects, and more business relocations. It's truly a win-win environment when the two industries collide, and work together to see stronger, more profitable communities.
We believe there are three primary steps marketers can take to leverage their place, while drawing on the strengths of, and utilizing resources from, the other industry.
- Craft a brand that tells your story. Create a digital marketing strategy and campaign that sells your story.
- Digital has become the game changer, especially as the world becomes more competitive at a faster and faster rate, and choices for visitors and companies get harder. Positioning your marketing for visibility and engagement in the digital space is a smart strategy for both DMOs and EDOs.
- Market your local assets.
- Leverage your local celebrities, products, and attractions to help generate regional and national awareness of your community as a great place to live, work, and play.
- Use tourism as a targeted industry for economic development.
- DMOs and EDOs can create a unified voice when talking about a community to maximize impact, especially when messaging is consistent. It doesn't necessarily have to be identical, but what is communicated by a DMO should complement and enhance that which is communicated by an EDO, and vice versa - Cumberland Valley and Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation do a great job in this area.
The individual influences of DMOs and EDOs are important to recognize, but understanding the potential that exists when they combine efforts is crucial to community prosperity.
And while we've really just scratched the surface in uncovering this potential, our latest white paper takes an in-depth look at cross sector collaboration efforts, proving that tourism is an economic engine that has a direct influence on how companies from start-ups to large corporations choose their locations.