Workgroup 1: Destination Management

In our project a destination should be understood as a geographical area or a region in which all the relevant elements of the stay, such as landscape, fauna, flora, climatic conditions, cultural and historical attractions, accommodation, recreational facilities and other infrastructure are available. The destination will be selected based on the combination of the factors of supply by the guest as the objective of his trip; by tour operators and incoming agencies as a package with complementary factors by these companies. For the organization and marketing of the destination as a whole a Destination Management Organization (DMO) is generally responsible.
 
 As important characteristics of a destination should be recognized:
 
The destination is described by the respective original (= supply factors and characteristics of a destination that exist without tourism activities) and secondary offer (= supply factors that have created due to tourism activities primarily for tourists). The various service providers or places and cities/towns (communities) that belong together within a geographic area, the (potential) guests usually perceived as belonging together and thus occur as a destination in the market competition. Consequently, these components are responsible for the image of the destination and support each other in their impact on the image. Thus, the destination is a competition unit, which should be managed like an enterprise.
 
As an essential feature of the competition unit „destination“ the number of independent service providers in the destination is highlighted, which have to be integrated into a collaborative process in the competition unit „destination“ and are responsible for the general destination image. (vgl. Scherhag, Knut: Stichwort: Destination, in: Gabler Verlag: Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon online 2013).
 
 As there are different understandings of the term “destination”, first of all a joint definition of the term “Destination Management” will be elaborated.
 
 Assuming from the commonly used content-importance of a destination in terms of travel/mobility is only the objective of a trip. Thus, the aim of the trip, of course, depends largely on the travel motives of the tourist. Thus, since wild camping on a lake for a fishing weekend (without permission), staying at a conference hotel for a two-day conference, the holiday in a tourist resort, a spa town and in the form of an institutionally or individually planned and executed tour – regardless of the means of travel (e.g. by bus or bicycle, motorcycle, car, camper …) can be subsumed under the concept of destination for a vote on the terms destination and destination management is necessary before any further steps.
 
 In summary, a tourist destination – in contrast to the general concept of a travel destination/voyage – on the one hand by a geographic area belonging together and the other by a variety of independent – dominated companies which conduct their business in this geographic area – tourist and non-tourist. Major parts of this business realize each company by the direct and indirect tourism demand in their destination.
 
 Destination management therefore deals with the organization, management and marketing of tourism destinations. To fulfill the tasks associated with a central destination operating throughout Organization Unit is necessary that enjoys the confidence of the service providers. This destination management organization (DMO) coordinates the destination product – which is composed of the individual products of the service providers in the destination, is looming and supports cooperation among the service providers in the destination (in most cases she has no authority to give directives because these are independent companies).

Furthermore, the DMO has to develop under compliance and integration the service providers a tourism concept for the destination, in which the role of the DMO and the service provider is generally settled. Other responsibilities include: Develop and implement a competitive strategy and the marketing of the destination as a whole. Often the computer reservation system is operated by the DMO. Increasingly, packages are created and marketed, which makes the DMO de jure to a tour organizer.
Destination Management has to be in compliance with the triangle of sustainability, i.e., it is an adequate relationship between ecological, economic and social factors prevails.

Destination Management has to be in compliance with the triangle of sustainability, i.e., it is an adequate relationship between ecological, economic and social factors prevails.
 
Depending on the cultural and/or economic region (e.g. development country vs. Western Europe) the destination is, it may be a shift of the importance between the topics.

Against this background, the development of a common curriculum for sustainable destination management is only possible considering the typical specific features in every participating country.