The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 4: Experiences

William Bakker

3 December 2014


Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara creates a remarkable experience that people won’t forget


In our last post we identified that storytelling is a central component of destination marketing. In this post, we’ll discuss getting to the root of the story: the destination experience. Experiences on the ground turn into the stories that people tell each other. These stories either persuade or dissuade other people from sharing that experience.

The implications for DMOs is that now more than ever, managing the destination experience is key. Because the more remarkable that destination experiences are, the better you can compete as a destination. And better experiences lead to better stories.

In order to achieve this, a DMO needs to take a hands-on approach of leading its industry and other stakeholders to define, measure and continually improve the destination experience. An investment in the destination experience will often be more valuable than an investment in pure marketing. Why? Because it can be scaled quickly and effectively.

Destination Marketing ModelSpecific elements in this section explore  how to manage your brand, how to differentiate products and experiences, how to measure the destination experience and how to work with tourism and non-tourism stakeholders to improve the destination’s overall experiences and the individual product experiences within it. We’ll go into more depth for all of these in later posts.

A remarkable experience for one person is different from another. Some people like to sit on a sunny beach while others want to climb mountains. That’s why the experiences section goes hand-in-hand with the target audience section. You need to understand your experiences to find the best target audience and/or identify the best audience to develop your destination for. We’ll cover target audiences in our next post.

Next post in this series: The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 5: Target Audience
Previous post in this series: The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 3: Storytelling

We have created an assessment for destinations based on our model that shows priority areas for your organization’s development. Click here for more information and to establish a benchmark for your own destination.


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