A few words of introduction about “Destination-Management.co”.
Destination management is a fairly old process in the countries that conceive tourism and the whole chain that it creates economically, as a serious reference point for the economy of their country and their regions. And it functions, above all, as a field of study for local and national development.
In Greece, tourism is sometimes perceived “as a gift from God”! That is why there has not been given much attention to what is actually needed in each region in order to develop tourism. The few people in each region who are officially involved are not always taken seriously by the central administration, they are usually get caught up in the bureaucratic “gears” that sometimes are delaying procedures or even cancelling opportunities that – in fact – each region needs in order to develop tourism services. There is less real involvement of the main “participants”, who are none other than those who live, work, and actually experience the tourism development and its positive or negative consequences, but also face – some in a good way and others in a bad way – what is happening around them. These are the so-called stakeholders who are the actual contributors to the economic activity in each region and, usually they have limited contribution to the local development planning. And of course, that is the point where a lot of problems start!
The company “Destination-Management.co” is a partnership of people who have direct contact with both the theoretical and the practical aspects of tourism. Tourism professionals, professors in tourism around the world, workers in tourism planning and in the implementation of the rules and laws of the state, in close cooperation with tourism entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the creation of the company is to focus on the development through the human perspective in each area, the analytical study of the characteristics and advantages of each area, the creation and implementation of tourism development guidelines for each specific area. In the way that tourism can become an important resource for economic growth.
In mature destinations, destination management organisations (DMOs) provide local services for visitors and fulfil the marketing activities for the promotion of the destination. They focus their activities on image and reputation building, product and sales and distribution management. They deal with information services, coordination between tourism media, infrastructure operation or support, and destination planning. Traditionally these local DMOs, which as we mentioned are mainly located in mature tourist destinations, are organised as more or less public administrations and authorities or as public-private partnerships, covering mostly the territory- of a region.
As traditional local community destinations have to compete with corporate organised destinations, such as resorts, theme parks or even cruise ships, the respective DMOs have to be transformed into contemporary, market-oriented service hubs …
Current challenges require a critical budget and product-oriented sites, with a rather centralized marketing and management. As such, the scope and boundaries of target areas need to be clear and, in many cases, need to be re-evaluated in the “post Covid-19 era” and redefined. In order to deepen the understanding of tourism destination economics and to provide a structure for the analysis and organization of destination management operations, the goal of “destination-management.co” is to analyze the criteria for defining the destination and consequently, create and support the planning of the respective DMOs of each region.
It is crucial to keep in mind the Stakeholders Scheme and its engagement in each destination:
The above diagram shows the range of entities, individuals and business groups involved in the so-called “stakeholder’s scheme”.
1. At this level, the study should be developed by creating SWOT for each stakeholder unit and then on the set of outputs to present the vision and reality of each destination.
2. Focusing on destination maturity. An example to study is the following diagram
It is necessary to collect data with a specific sustainable development procedure. Also, the utilization of already existing resources with direct cooperation with the stakeholders in every region. This entails that the acceptance of the data analysis that each destination has either created or plans to create. Next is the phase of data integration and setting up a solid “tight” scheme for each destination based on the principles of sustainability and green development. An important issue at this point in time is finding and developing the financial tools to achieve the objectives. Our specialized team of partners develops and present the appropriate route for accomplishing the selected objectives.
3. The creation of concrete foundations that will support the knowledge base for the development of a tourism destination.
4. Implementation through concrete scientific analysis, with the support of all those involved in the study of each field. Study and application are developed together in this phase. Creating the marketing and branding, principles for each case.
5. Testing the applied data and developing corrective actions where needed.
General conclusions and results
We emphasize the need to create and implement procedures for sustainable tourism taking into account the current and future trends as well as the post covid-19 era, challenges for tourism development:
➢ Cultural tourism.
➢ Sport and recreational tourism.
➢ Gastronomic tourism.
➢ Rural tourism.
➢ Wellness tourism.
➢ Silver Tourism .
The indicated guidelines for successful Tourism projects, are defined by 5+2 rules on which every destination must focus on. Namely:
1. Improvement – Infrastructure development.
2. Use of the so called “digital world”
3. Developing local entrepreneurship through education.
4. Upgrading and promoting the tourism product.
5. Creation and protection of a sustainable environment.
Other important factors are:
a) Education of entrepreneurs and employees as well as continuous information flow for the community, and
The sum of all these factors is our work and we rely on them to deliver the best outcome for each local community and the entire country.
Stelios A. Mantzaris, MSc