Do well in 'developing UK tourist destinations'

AC 3.1

Managing destinations

Since all tourism destinations are like businesses competing against each other, in recent years tourism destinations have formed professional organisations to manage and market the destinations. These are called Destination Management Organisations or Destination Marketing Organisations, or DMOs for short.

Read the three articles below which explain what DMOs are and what a destination management plan looks like. The three articles are:

  1. An explanation of what DMOs are by Visit Britain, which is the body responsible for tourism in the UK
  2. A Destination Marketing Plan for the Swansea area
  3. An example of an explanation of a Destination Management Organisation from the Suffolk Coast in England

Visit Britain

Destination Management Organisations

Destinations are all different and with different challenges, host to numerous stakeholders with their own specific needs. The organisations responsible for the local visitor economy can also be varied. They might be public sector bodies such as local authorities with clear boundaries, private companies, or partnerships between the public and private sector working across a region.

Well-managed destinations are more likely to sustain investment, business growth and employment without having a long-term negative effect on the environment or local population. The best-managed destinations are also likely to attract inward investment across a broader range of sectors, as well as value-added jobs and new talent. Making them great places to live and work as well as visit.

From promotional activity and through research and data production, DMOs help destinations grow their local economies through tourism. Of the various tools used to help generate growth in the visitor economy, the most effective are destination management plans. These plans help to create an integrated, sustainable and long-term approach to destination management.

Activity 1

Read the VisitBritain article then answer the questions below.

  • Complete the sentence: ‘Well-managed destinations are more likely to
  • Identify three ways in which DMOs help destinations grow their local economies through tourism
  • What do effective destination management plans help to create?


A Destination Management Plan has been produced to address some of the existing issues and identify future issues facing tourism in the area.

The main focus will be a series of deliverable actions addressing the strategic issues, which still remain seasonality, quality of the product, funding and sustainable development.

‘Destination Swansea Bay’ is the tourism industry’s statement of intent on how it aims to improve the visitor experience over the next few years. For the first time, the private, public and third sectors involved in tourism have identified the challenges ahead and will work collaboratively to ensure a positive change in the image of the area and economic performance.

The plan has been split into 4 strategic themes:

  • Working Together – to include creating effective working partnerships with key local tourism stakeholders.
  • Driving Quality – for example developing and maintaining high quality infrastructure to satisfy visitor and resident needs.
  • Tackling Seasonality – including implementing an effective marketing campaign for Swansea Bay in the shoulder seasons (Spring, Autumn and Winter).
  • Ensuring Sustainability – for example to adopt a balanced approach between economic prosperity, environmental protection and social equity to support sustainable development within the destination.

Activity 2

Read the Swansea article and answer the questions below.

  • What is the aim of the ‘Destination Swansea Bay’ management plan?
  • Choose what you think are the two most important strategic themes of the plan.

Suffolk Coast

The Suffolk Coast Ltd Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is a limited company, formed in 2012, with the purpose of promoting the Suffolk Coast as a visitor destination. Prior to this, tourism promotion used to be mainly funded by government but, sweeping changes in public finances have required a new approach. Therefore, we are uniting together to give The Suffolk Coast the best opportunity to be at the forefront of visitors’ minds when selecting a holiday destination.

Founding organisations include: Adnams PLC, Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Suffolk Coast & Heaths, Suffolk Secrets Ltd, TA Hotel Collection Ltd and Suffolk Coastal District Council. These organisations share the vision that, by working together, they can build a more package of reasons for a visitor to choose the Suffolk Coast as a holiday destination.

With a fantastic mix of stunning scenery, quality accommodation, world-class culture and a rapidly growing reputation for excellent food & drink, this part of the UK is a superb choice for any visitor hoping to sample some great experiences and take away some fantastic holiday memories.

Activity 3

Read the Suffolk Coast article and answer the questions below.

From the list of founding organisations identify:

  • One accommodation provider
  • One public sector organisation

Identify the four components of the appeal of the Suffolk Coast.