The DMO Download

A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.

This Is the New Official Standard for Sustainable Tourism


Read up on the Latest DMO News

We hope you all had a lovely holiday. Now, the new year is just around the corner! Start 2022 off right with these helpful resources for your destination. Read about a new partnership promoting sustainable, indigenous tourism, check your destination against the new global standard for sustainable destination tourism, visit visually stunning (and effective) DMO websites and more in this week’s download. Check it out!

Destination Vancouver and Indigenous Tourism BC Join Forces

Destination Vancouver and Indigenous Tourism BC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will begin a partnership focused on developing a strong and sustainable tourism industry around indigenous culture and heritage, especially around the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Board Chair of Indigenous Tourism BC, Brenda Baptiste, is excited to see a formal relationship between the two organizations.

“By sharing our unique resources and diverse skill sets, we create a tourism industry legacy based on relationships that support thriving Indigenous cultures, social and economic development for Indigenous People and responsible stewardship of the land and water,” Baptiste said.

The historic partnership is an example of the importance of developing relationships that promote indigenous businesses and educate visitors about their unique culture and heritage. By teaching visitors about indigenous peoples, DMOs can foster a deeper connection with the history of their area.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council Announces Official Standard for Sustainable Tourism Destinations

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) announced that GreenStep Solutions’ GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard is now the GSTC-recognized standard for the tourism industry. The standard allows destinations, as well as hotels and other tourism businesses, to measure their sustainability efforts through their environmental, social, cultural and managerial efforts. Currently there are 11 destinations that have achieved GSTC-Recognized status.

“Now our industry and destination partners, customers and those that are using our complimentary online Sustainability Score assessments can rest assured knowing they are measuring their sustainability performance based on globally accepted best practices and standards,” said Angela Nagy, President and CEO of GreenStep Solutions.

The new standard is proof that the sustainable tourism trend is not going away anytime soon. Efforts to holistically increase sustainability for destinations is the way of the future and DMOs and heritage areas need to begin considering how they can begin or quantify current efforts.

These Heritage Tourism Website Elements Enhance Your Digital Presence

Having a digital presence with an effective website is essential to attracting visitors to your destination and reinforcing a positive destination brand. A good website lets you build credibility and showcase the unique aspects of your destination. There are five key ways to make your heritage tourism website stand out from the crowd:

  1. Understand and communicate the unique selling points of your destination.
  2. Develop a clear brand for your heritage area.
  3. Work on creating a good user experience.
  4. Use high-quality photography to showcase your destination.
  5. Connect your heritage site to the community.

Having an informative website is a vital part of your marketing strategy to communicate your destination’s brand. This is where curious visitors will first be introduced to your community and what it has to offer, so it’s important your website hits all the right notes. Implementing these five elements will help wow visitors long before they arrive at your destination. Want to know more? Check out this on-demand webinar.

Take Inspiration From These Amazing DMO Website Examples

A good website needs to leave a lasting impression on potential visitors so they can become real visitors. The destinations featured here are great examples of DMO websites because they’ve implemented strong design and user experience (UX) principles to create sites that everyone is talking about.

Using memorable visuals and bold fonts ensures that your website stands out from the rest. Destination Cleveland uses these elements to make a visually impressive website that captures the essence of the city. They even include tools for visitors to plan their stay right from the website.

Including virtual experiences is a great, engaging way for website users to get a feel for your destination. As a very rural archipelago between Iceland and Norway, Visit Faroe Islands doesn’t have Google Streetview. So, the DMO saw a great opportunity to create a destination-specific virtual experience for visitors, leading to the birth of “Sheep View 360.” This experience allows users to virtually view the Faroe Islands from the back of a sheep.

The best way to learn what makes an eye-catching, user-friendly DMO website is by using DMO websites. Before planning out your destination’s website, do some research on what makes other websites stand out to you. To check out some more notable DMO websites, visit this article from CrowdRiff.

  • Paige Schamberg

    Content Production Manager at Bull Moose Marketing. A lover of literature and a sunshine enthusiast who probably drinks too much tea. Connect with me on LinkedIn @paigeschamberg

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