Destination Marketing an unexpected catalyst for quality of life

David Vaassen - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Research by OXFORD ECONOMICS for the Destination & Travel Foundation, reveals how Destination Marketing is an unexpected catalyst for employment, economic development and quality of life.

While this research is now a couple of years old and is written from a US perspective, the findings still hold true and are pertinent to Destimation Marketing organisations around the world.


Long term - the Visitor Economy is on the up.

What's very telling in the report is the long term trend in the US, which is shown in the graph below, and echoed in many other markets.

There's no doubt in our minds, that globally,  tourism and the visitor economy continues to do very well, thank you.


US Spending on lodgings - long term trend.


With the future returns on investments in promoting a Visitor Economy assured, Destinations are becoming more confident in investing in Destination Marketing and Branding activity to complete in what is very much a global market.

The surprising thing, is the side-effects and additional benefits of promoting a Destination Brand, with in most cases, a Tourism focus.


Destinations that place a high priority on marketing their brands and amenities realize significantly greater employment and economic growth, well beyond the visitor economy, reports research conducted by Oxford Economics for the Destination & Travel Foundation.

Destination Marketing Promotion Infographic

Key Findings:

The visitor economy warrants investments in destination promotion

  • As incomes rise, consumer spending on travel has grown at an even faster rate and employment in the travel economy has led growth during the recent economic recovery.
  • Hospitality and tourism has outperformed the aggregate of all other traded cluster export sectors since 1998, with employment expanding nearly 10% while all others shrank 1%.
  • As incomes rise and globalization continues, US destinations are poised to continue to capitalize through targeted promotional investments.
  • Destination marketing plays an integral and indispensable role in the competitiveness of the visitor economy by pooling resources to provide the scale and marketing infrastructure to promote a place to national and international markets.

Destination promotion drives economic development through several channels

  •  Building transportation networks and connecting to new markets
  •  Raising the destination profile
  •  Targeted economic development through conventions and trade shows
  •  Raising the quality of life

Growth in the visitor economy drives growth in other areas of the economy

  •  Destinations with a higher concentration of visitor-related industries tend to grow faster than average over the past decade.
  •  Econometric tests show that employment shifts in the visitor economy are followed in subsequent years by sustained changes in growth in other parts of the economy.
  •  A 10% increase in a destination’s visitor-related employment relative to the US average tends to be followed by a 1.5% rise in broader employment in the short-run.

Economic development can be more effective through coordination with destination promotion

  •  Air service development initiatives can be more effective with destination marketing organizations (DMOs) at the table.
  •  The building and adoption of a brand should be coordinated between DMOs and economic development organizations (EDOs).
  •  EDOs and DMOs should maintain a platform for regular communication.
  •  For important new investment bids, EDOs coordination with DMOs results in the best possible pitch.
  •  EDOs and DMOs can jointly leverage strategic conferences, trade shows.

See the full report: Destination Promotion - An Engine of Economic Development.

Download the full report

Happy Branding :)

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