There has been much debate over the future role of LTO’s (Local Tourism Organisations – Tourism marketing and info offices) and DMO’s. (Destination Marketing Organisations) The reality is that they have never been more important, as long as they can adapt to the new roles that they will need to adopt to grow their destinations. The quality of tourism experiences delivered their local products is now be the greatest driver of tourist decisions to visit their destination and its products.
These bodies will need to transform to being the Directors of the tourism story that is delivered by its Actors as visitor experiences throughout the customer journey in their destination. They will also need to assume the role of being advisors on tourism development in their destinations.
The capacity of these organisations to achieve these new roles will depend to a large extent on the prioritising and refocusing of a significant amount of national and provincial tourism resources.
These organisations need to be the top priority to enhance the local level, where tourism experiences happen.
So, organisations need to restructure and products need to embrace the new roles to maximise visitor shares and positive reviews on ratings sites. Those who do not adapt by the end of 2017 will lose the basis of their brand competitive advantage.