What is tourism destination management and why is it needed?
In the nineties there has been a great shift of emphasis on the tourism market, which up to this date determines the trends of the supply and the demand. Among the most significant are the branding of towns, regions and countries, the embracement of the customer experience based approach in marketing communication, and the development of supporting social structures.
The tourism product – as referred to in contemporary tourism marketing terminology – is actually a proposed experience, a promise and the structures that facilitate the fulfillment of this promise. In this sense, the product is not a single service (for example a spa, a hotel, a water park), but a more complex combination of these services/experiences which are embodied or found in a town, region, country of continent. In the tourism business these elements are commonly referred to as a destination.
Based on this, we can conclude that towns and region can be successful on the tourism market if the attractions of the regions can be integrated into a tourism product, the product can be integrated into the destination itself. On the market, the destination is sold, rather than the product. The process of sales does not end at the actual purchase; its final moment is when the satisfied visitor travels home, having gained the anticipated experiences. For the destination it is essential to keep its 'costumers', so the process of building up a long term relationship with visitors starts after the returning home.
A successfully managed destination management organization creates a process cycle that is in line with costumers, which generates sustainable development for the entire region, with respect to the multiplicative economic and other positive effects of tourism.