Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations
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Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations

Alastair M. Morrison

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eBook - ePub

Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations

Alastair M. Morrison

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About This Book

Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations is a comprehensive and integrated introductory textbook covering both destination marketing and destination management in one volume. It focuses on how destination management is planned, implemented and evaluated as well as the management and operations of destination management organizations (DMOs), how they conduct business, major opportunities, challenges and issues they face to compete for the global leisure and business travel markets.

This second edition has been updated to include:

• A new chapter on visitor management that includes a section on crisis and disaster management

• New material on destination leadership and coordination

• New and revised content on digital marketing

• New and updated international case examples throughout to show the practical realities and approaches to managing different destinations around the world.

It is illustrated in full colour and packed with features to encourage reflection on main themes, spur critical thinking and show theory in practice. Written by an author with many years of industry practice, university teaching and professional training experience, this book is the essential guide to the subject for tourism, hospitality and events students and industry practitioners alike.

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Introduction to destination management and marketing concepts and roles

1 The concepts of destination management and marketing


1. Explain the characteristics of a destination.
2. Define destination management and destination marketing.
3. Identify and explain the roles of destination management.
4. Differentiate between destination management and destination marketing.
5. Categorize the stakeholders in destination management into groups.
6. Explain the 10 As of successful destinations.
7. Provide a definition of destination governance and identify the strengths of public and private sectors.
8. Describe the types of destination management organizations at different geographic levels.


If you are new to the concepts of managing and marketing destinations, it can be confusing to read what has been written to date about them. These are two relatively new concepts in tourism, and many experts have been struggling to define and differentiate them over the past 25 years. Sometimes, the concepts are used interchangeably, but although closely linked together, they are different. This book will demystify everything for you so that you will truly understand destination management and destination marketing.
Destination management has become a profession in recent decades, requiring people with specific skills and experiences. Destination managers are a relatively new breed, but their status in society is steadily increasing as destination management gains more recognition. Although relatively small in comparison to hospitality and travel management, this is an up-and-coming career field for tourism management graduates. You need to first understand destinations before you can grasp their management.

Defining a tourism destination

Basically, a tourism destination is a geographic area that attracts visitors, but more needs to be added to this definition so you fully understand what this book is addressing. Here are the key characteristics of a tourism destination:
A geographic area that has an administrative boundary or boundaries: This ranges from the largest country in the world (Russia) to the smallest, such as Monaco and the Vatican City. States, provinces, territories, regions, counties and cities within individual countries can also be destinations.
A place where the tourist can find overnight accommodations: These are typically hotels, but there may be many other forms of accommodation. Some of the visitors may be day-trippers, and so not all of them necessarily stay overnight.
A destination product is available for visitors: There are other facilities for tourists apart from overnight accommodations, including restaurants, entertainment and shopping areas. Most important in drawing tourists are the attractions and events. Transportation, infrastructure, service quality and friendliness are the other elements of the destination product.
A tourism marketing effort exists: The place is marketing and promoting itself to attract tourists.
A coordinating organization structure has been created: A destination management organization (DMO) leads and coordinates the tourism efforts of the place.
An image exists of the place in tourists’ minds: People have perceptions about what the place has to offer for tourism. These images may be accurate or inaccurate.
Government agencies have introduced laws and regulations: Special laws and regulations control different aspects of tourism.
There is a mixture of tourism stakeholders: Private-sector enterprises; government agencies; non-profit organizations, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs); individuals and other entities that have an interest in tourism.
Great destinations are great places to live and work as well as to visit.
VisitEngland, 2012a
Now that you have a basic idea about destinations, the concepts of destination management and marketing will make greater sense to you. Later in this chapter, you will get to know that there is a great variety of destinations in the world and a large number and great variety of DMOs are involved.

Destination management and marketing overview

Destination management

Destination management and destination marketing are two highly interrelated concepts in tourism. In fact, destination marketing is one of the functions within the broader concept of destination management. Therefore, it is important for you to first understand destination management before moving on to the details of destination marketing.
Destination management involves coordinated and integrated management of the destination product (attractions and events, facilities, transportation, infrastructure, service quality and friendliness). Effective destination management requires a strategic, or long-term, approach based on a platform of destination visioning and tourism planning. Destination management is accomplished through specialized organizations known as DMOs . DMOs coordinate the efforts of many stakeholders to achieve the destination’s vision and goals for tourism.
DMOs came into being because of the need to mount a coordinated effort for planning, developing and marketing tourism destinations. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in its publication, A Practical Guide to Tourism Destination Management (2007), identified four roles of DMOs (Figure 1.1):
Leading and coordinating: Leading and coordinating the efforts of all the stakeholders in tourism within the destination, the DMO is the focal organization for ensuring the appropriate use of all the elements of a destination (attractions, amenities, accessibility, human resources, image and price).
Marketing: Destination promotion, campaigns to drive business, unbiased information services, operation and facilitation of bookings, and customer relationship management (CRM). The DMO’s marketing efforts are mainly designed to get people to visit the destination.
Creating a suitable environment: Planning and infrastructure, human resources development, product development, technology and systems development, and related industries and procurement. Policies, legislation and regulations are needed as a foundation for guiding and controlling tourism. They include the DMO’s policies and programmes to promote sustainable tourism development within the destination.
Delivering on the ground: Managing the quality of tourist experiences, training and education, and business advice. This means the DMO must ensure that whatever has been promised in its marketing is actually ‘delivered’ to tourists; in other words, they get the experiences that they were promised. As Figure 1.1 indicates, the main goal is to exceed the expectations of tourists when they first arrive at the destination.
Figure 1.1
UNWTO definition of destination management roles.
UN World Tourism Organization, 2007.
Figure 1.1 shows these four DMO roles along with the elements of a destination, according to the UNWTO. Located in a central position in the diagram, leading and coordinating is shown as being the key role of a DMO.
The following statement from the UNWTO publication clearly indicates that there is much more to destination management than just destination marketing. The very first DMOs created decades ago were basically promotional, sales and public relations agencies; today destination management is much broader, more professional and sophisticated. The statement mentions the need for having the ‘framework of a coherent strategy’, and this means there needs to be an overall plan or strategy for tourism in the destination, which you will learn about in the next chapter.

Destination management roles (UNWTO)

DMOs today should not only lead on marketing but must also be strategic leaders in destination development. This role requires them to drive and coordinate destination management activities within the framework of a coherent strategy. Promotion must attract people to visit in the first place; creating a suitable environment and quality delivery on the ground will ensure that visitors’ expectations are met at the destination and that they then both recommend the destination to others and return themselves on a future occasion. (UN...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations
APA 6 Citation
Morrison, A. (2018). Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations (2nd ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2018)
Chicago Citation
Morrison, Alastair. (2018) 2018. Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
Morrison, A. (2018) Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations. 2nd edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Morrison, Alastair. Marketing and Managing Tourism Destinations. 2nd ed. Taylor and Francis, 2018. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.