The IACVB Legacy Website

Does an International DMO Brand Name Make Sense?

Future International Destination Marketing Brand

At one time the majority of DMOs were known as Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), but since the term "destination marketing organization" (DMOs) was officially adopted by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in 2005 and the "CVB" term was dropped, the name is used less frequently.  In fact, DMAI members have now adopted about 120 different acronyms to describe themselves. One of every six DMAI members today is called something different. Our identity has fragmented.

Some have suggested that creating a uniform, more descriptive single name for DMOs and encouraging uniform adoption would help to brand the industry and better explain what it does for consumers, raising awareness and encouraging more use in the process. These sentiments are not universally shared, however. As a result, the CVB name is now used by about half of DMAI members and the percentage of DMOs using a similar name continues to drop.

The second most popular and fastest growing DMO name today is "Visit (Destination Name)" (i.e. Visit Laguna Beach), chalking up an estimated 10 percent of DMAI members. With a handful of converts each year, the "Visit" descriptor continues to gain strength but it will take decades for this name to represent a majority of DMOs, if ever. The third most popular is "(Destination Name) Visitors Bureau” (i.e., Seaside Visitors Bureau) followed by "(Destination Name) Visitor & Convention Bureau" (i.e., Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau).

Dr. Karl Albrecht, renowned futurist and author of the 2008 Futures Report, suggested that scientific method could identify a singular industry name. A disciplined, planned effort would investigate perceptions (consumers, meeting planners, etc.), isolate key logical premises and generate creative options.
 “This is probably a three- to five-year expedition," he said, "and the sooner we get started with a disciplined approach to solving it, the sooner we'll get where we want to be."