Tourism/Transportation

DMOs must ‘focus agendas’ to capitalize on global trends

Meet Puerto Rico President Milton Segarra Meet Puerto Rico President Milton Segarra

Destination Marketing Organizations such as Meet Puerto Rico need to focus their agendas on three specific areas to capitalize on growth opportunities within the travel and tourism industry, an expert in the field said Wednesday, citing the results of a recent study.

Michael Gehrisch, president of Destination Marketing Association International, offered a presentation to Meet Puerto Rico members during which he discussed the findings of the research titled “DestinationNEXT: A Strategic Roadmap for the Next Generation of Global Destination Marketing” that concluded that DMOs must: engage consumers in two-way conversations through technology and social media; build and protect the destination’s brand by delivering a great customer experience; and evolve the DMO business model to diversify the revenue stream.

“The timing for DestinationNEXT is ideal,” said Gehrisch during a presentation at the Puerto Rico Convention Center. “The ability for DMOs to make a difference has never been greater, and the need for leadership action has never been more compelling.”

Meanwhile, Meet Puerto Rico President Milton Segarra said the study validates what has been happening in Puerto Rico in the last year.

“This study shows us that we have to look at the future aware of new trends and scenarios to be very strategic and successful as a destination for meetings and conventions,” he said.

Meet Puerto Rico is the organization in charge of bringing groups and conventions to the island. The organization has undergone sweeping changes this past year focusing on the goal of positioning Puerto Rico as the ideal destination for groups and conventions.

For the first time in more than 10 years, Meet Puerto Rico met and exceeded by a 101 percent of that goal. That sales growth was 53 percent when comparing it with fiscal year 2012-2013, while fall bookings are “off to a good start,” Segarra said.

Puerto Rico was selected to host 49 events including, conferences, annual meetings and sports activities, for this fall season. This represents an estimated 25,509 room nights and a total direct spending of $14.3 million into the local economy.

“We strive to keep Meet Puerto Rico in front of the trends impacting planners — and ultimately bookings to Puerto Rico,” said Segarra.

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