Vail Daily column: What’s a destination marketing organization? | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: What’s a destination marketing organization?

Chris Romer
Vail Valley Partnership
Vail, CO Colorado

As defined by Wikipedia, a destination marketing organization or convention and visitor bureau promotes a town, city, region or country in order to increase the number of visitors. It promotes the development and marketing of a destination, focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing, and services. By definition, most destination marketing organizations are nonprofit organizations.

The Vail Valley Partnership is proud to fulfill the role of destination marketing organization for Eagle County, support the business community through our Chamber of Commerce role and support destination guests via our Tourism Bureau role.

Destination Marketing Association International (“about the industry”) defines services by destination marketing organizations as “the promotion of economic development of a destination by increasing visits from tourists and business travelers, which generates overnight lodging for a destination, visits to restaurants, and shopping revenues. Convention and visitor bureaus are the most important tourism marketing organizations in their respective tourist destinations, as they are directly responsible for marketing the destination brand through travel and tourism ‘product awareness’ to visitors. Destination marketing organizations produce billions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue and taxes for their destinations’ economies with their marketing and sales expertise. Regardless of the name, these organizations offer many services to the traveling public.”

Why is this important?

Tourism is our biggest industry in Eagle County and continued economic development related to tourism and other related efforts need a regionally focused champion. Each town and area in the county, from Vail to Gypsum, does a good job promoting their own individual assets. The Partnership works hard to leverage all the individual efforts taking place and is proud to serve as the destination marketing organization to help bring together various stakeholders throughout the valley to promote the entire destination.

The sum of our parts makes us a stronger destination than trying to go about it alone as individual entities. After all, we’re in this together and we need to continue our regional collaboration in order to be both a successful destination and a successful community. We’re stronger together, from the airport in Gypsum to the Fairgrounds in Eagle, from the tourism infrastructure (and ski resorts) in Vail and Beaver Creek to the recreational opportunities and shopping in Minturn and Edwards. We, as a destination, are blessed with easy access from Denver via I-70 and from across the country via the Eagle County Regional Airport.

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The Vail Valley Partnership is proud to be the destination marketing organization representing our destination at 30-plus group and meeting tradeshows across the country; we’re proud to help recruit events such as Tough Mudder and Gran Fondo to the valley; we’re proud to publish the Visit Vail Valley Official Visitors Guide to the Vail Valley (spotlighting the entire valley as a vacation destination); and we’re proud to offer the VailonSale.com website as an alternative distribution channel for the lodging community and as a central place (a one-stop shop) for visitors to find great lodging deals.

The Partnership is relentlessly collaborative in our efforts to promote the Vail Valley as a tourism destination and as a place to do business. After all, there are a number of organizations and businesses working hard to promote the valley, from Vail Resorts to the Vail Local Marketing District, from the Beaver Creek Resort Co. to the EGE Air Alliance, we’ve got numerous groups promoting the valley. From a visitor standpoint, there are also many marketing companies offering opportunities for local businesses to target guests in print and online.

At the Partnership, we strive to bring it all together and to collaborate with all these groups to make our destination (and community) even stronger. Our group sales, event recruiting and other destination marketing efforts result in over $40 million per year in direct spending in the valley. That’s 40 million reasons that help prove that community collaboration pays off.

What can your business do to help? If you benefit from our destination marketing efforts and value the additional chamber networking and other benefits offered to members, get off the sidelines and join the Partnership. If you are already a member, tell your neighbors to join to help us do even more here in the valley.

As always, I encourage all member businesses to get engaged with the Partnership and to contact us with any suggestions you may have to help us better serve you and for non-members to join the Partnership. Call us at 970-476-1000 or stop by our offices in Avon at Traer Creek Plaza to share your feedback.

Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership