Destination Innovate Blog

What is a DMORP?

If you’ve been following the constant flow of news about Destination Marketing Organizations in the US being threatened, you know there is literally daily content around the issue. Though this has been going on for decades, it seems most DMOs are just getting the memo. Most DMOs have so many masters, it’s a juggle just to be hyper-responsive to the next squawker.

Since adding my voice to the growing list of professionals who can see clearly that “wait and see” is a surefire way to find yourself in this predicament, I have created a business planning mechanism called a DMORP (Destination Marketing Organization Relevancy Plan). I covered five ways to shut the argument down in an earlier post.

Now, I want to dig in deeper to what a DMORP is and can be for your organization:

A more important mechanism than crisis communication planning. Often, a DMO has a crisis communication plan to address regular threats to visitation, including weather, local issues, bad press and other public facing presages. This type of plan is about trying to change opinions without changing the environment. That will not work for being an impenetrable DMO.


A DMORP would operationalize specific strategems that align roles of your team individuals, vendors, stakeholders, community and other parties to consistent action in favor of a bulletproof DMO.

I would envision several key components in your 5-year DMORP:

  • General Defense – A predictive modeling of impact to community without the DMO.
  • Fiduciary Clean Up – A specific evaluation of where money is spent and planned monies with margin returns.
    • Planning annual budgets in terms of spend has diminishing returns, as the necessary budget to meet demand generation cannot be predicted 12 months out in today’s advertising. Focus on goals to margins here.
  • Threats, Known and Unknown – This can range from overtourism to infrastructure to political.
  • Vision – A big picture look at improved programs for the DMO, stakeholder’s businesses, community, etc.
    • 3 main Goals
      • 6 month milestones
        • 5 action steps per, by when?
  • Strategic Partners – Includes the EDC, key stakeholders, legislators, etc. Who and what and why will these people help. What is expected. What is the habitual action plan.
  • Community Improvement – Build in specific actions to improve the living conditions of the community, ie: jobs, better quality of life, opportunities.
  • Team Roles – Build in your job descriptions responsibilities to the above so each team member has a specific habitual action plan to support the DMORP.
  • Multiplied Impact – How can you multiply impact with the plan and effort? What does the breakthrough look like? How do you stay in action?

These are just a few key components that should be in every DMORP, others would be layered in depending on the specific circumstances of your destination.

Need help doing this? Join my “Destination Advance Me” program or start a conversation to talk about how I can help you with this.

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