In these times of transition, technology is making direct democracy and co-creation more possible every day. Mexico City has just begun an effort to crowdsource its new constitution, as Iceland did in 2012. Whatever the local political ramifications, this reveals a trend destination marketing organizations (DMOs) should be aware of.
As destinations struggle to define their brand, asking for crowdsourced input can seem politically risky. One real barrier is the fear many DMOs face that engaging directly with residents will undermine the position of the stakeholders they traditionally represent. In addition, opening the floor for public conversations about place or destination branding might provoke political debates around important questions of identity. Questions like “What are we, as a destination?” or “What do we stand for?” can be divisive and difficult to manage.
On the other hand, if Mexico City can successfully crowdsource its constitution, isn’t it possible for a DMO to reaching out to more fully engage its residents to define a destination’s identity? Our destination marketing system is going through a paradigm shift, and DMOs will need to follow that evolution.