It’s Time for DMOcracy

Global research study on engaging with your community.

Successful, sustainable tourism needs a welcoming and supportive local community. One of the priorities to emerge from the last few years is the importance of the partnership between Destination Marketing and Management Organizations (DMOs) and their local residents.

Miles Partnership is involved in a major global research study to define best practices for DMOs in building a successful partnership.  

An international study to define global best practices in building successful, resilient, and enduring partnerships with local residents, community groups and businesses.

Miles Partnership is leading the North American edition of this global study and a proposed Pacific edition of the study planned for 2023. We are working with a range of agency and association partners in this project, including Group Nao (the program creator and European lead), Coraggio Group, Destination Analysts, Destinations International and the Destination City Alliance in Europe.

The global research study involves 22 leading North American and 22 leading European DMOs – shown above. From Vancouver to Miami, Los Angeles to Maine and Montreal, these Destination Partners have stepped forward to both help fund this global research and contribute by sharing case study examples and helping refine the best practices that all DMOs will be able to apply. A big thank you to them.
The North American edition of the study is undertaking a deep dive into 6 critical themes related to community engagement:

  1. Community Participation Models
  2. Resident Sentiment Research
  3. Workforce & Staffing
  4. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  5. Media & Communications
  6. Short Term Rentals & Housing

The global research study includes a comprehensive look at these topics. It includes a global survey of 400+ DMOs on their community engagement strategies, 6 in-depth learning labs with experts and two in person events around the Destinations International’s Annual Convention and Advocacy Summit. We are also collecting case study examples from DMOs around the world on successful community engagement programs and practices. In addition, our academic partners (the University of South Carolina and North Carolina State) are leading a global review of existing research and resources and working with us to build out a Research & Resource Library. There is also a global LinkedIn Group and Slack Channel and planned networking events to facilitate information sharing amongst the Destination Partners.

The global research study wraps up in late October and the summaries and recommendations in each of the 6 themes will be shared for the benefit of DMOs, government, community and industry partners everywhere.

We are collecting case study examples of successful community engagement from around the world including the Destination Partners in this study, Vancouver, New York, and Barcelona

You can help: please complete the DMO survey and if you have a case study example of a successful program or initiative in community engagement, please let us know by emailing us at

Thank you to our Destination Partners across North America who make this project possible:

Written by Chris Adams

Head of Research and Insights

June 22, 2022

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