DestinationAssociation International (the former International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus) held its annual convention in Pittsburgh last week, where leadership announced several items of note for meeting planners.
- Some 27 DMOs/CVBs (not to be confused with destination management companies, which are for-profit entities) have been accredited through the association’s new Destination Marketing Accreditation Program, launched in January, which recognizes those bureaus that offer a consistent level of service and operations. To become accredited, a DMO must complete an application process that requires evidence of compliance with 54 mandatory standards and 33 voluntary standards throughout the organization. The number of accredited bureaus is expected to reach 57 by the end of this year, said Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of DMAI, 60 next year, and 80 each year after that.
- A joint task force made up of five DMOs and five convention center professionals have issued the first draft of a white paper that defines best practices in convention sales and operations. The convention center professionals, members of the International Association of Auditorium Managers, have hammered out nine critical issues and supporting recommendations with the DMO representatives that could mean more consistent and unified sales and operations systems for meeting professionals, at least in those cities that embrace the initiative. Look for more details in an upcoming issue of .
- The DMAI Foundation will produce a new Convention Spending Study in the fourth quarter of 2007. DMAI has partnered with D. K. Shifflet & Associates to produce current delegate spending data aggregated for small, medium, and large destinations as well as to benchmark the meetings and convention segment against other segments of the U.S. national tourism figures.
- Soon you, and hundreds of thousands of other consumers, will see a mass market media campaign entitled “Go travel like a local,” which will drive people to DMAI’s OfficialTravelGuide.com, the official travel portal of DMAI, linking to the more than 600 DMOs that are members of the association and branding them as the public’s “trusted source” for travel information.