Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I’ve been involved in what is called “destination marketing” nearly my entire adult life with the exception of six college years (two of which were involved in marketing a “campus community.”)

Destination marketing is by definition, “visitor centered marketing of a community for economic and cultural development while balancing the interests of visitors, businesses, other organizations and local government.”

It is the “balancing part” that is both the most challenging and often least appreciated. Of course “tourism” is “used” by many as a rationale but that doesn’t mean they really care or even understand tourism or what it means to market a community as a whole.

And then there are the businesses, organizations and facilities that are both woven into a community’s overall story and then have the opportunity to harvest the yield. I rarely run into a theater, museum, ballpark, historic site, arts group, downtown booster, convention facility, restaurant, shopping center, government official or regional or state interest that feels DCVB fully appreciates them or that we do enough for them or that they get enough of our attention.

It is natural for them to believe they play or should be given a more prominent role…it is also natural for those of us truly involved in weaving and telling the overall community story to worry that the story might be undermined by fragmentation or event cannibalization.

Balancing interests, indeed.

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