Introducing the DXO Model

Due to the nature of destinations, their role has always been heavily discussed no matter if we are looking at national, regional or city to

Due to the nature of destinations, their role has always been heavily discussed no matter if we are looking at national, regional or city tourist boards. Over the years, a lot of discussions have taken place as to whether the term DMO stands for destination management or marketing organisation. Most destinations have adjusted their remit, focusing heavily on marketing the destination.

Due to the nature of destinations, their role has always been heavily discussed no matter if we are looking at national, regional or city tourist boards. Over the years, a lot of discussions have taken place as to whether the term DMO stands for destination management or marketing organisation. Most destinations have adjusted their remit, focusing heavily on marketing the destination. Over the last two years, a growing number of destinations is focusing more on the management of the destination(s) honing in on the opportunities of developing exciting products with their industry. With digital changing all areas of travel and business, destinations are now at a point where their future business model is often in question once again. Many DMOs are asking themselves what the future tourist board will look like and what they should focus on.

It is this notion that encourages DMOs to actively think outside the box and consider future opportunities for them to secure funding, survive as an organisation and take a leadership role in the industry. Here at the #DTTT, we have worked with many destinations on finding their core purpose, actively defining what they should focus on and work on in the future. Thinking about a destination as a DXO rather than a DMO can be a helpful starting point.

Introducing the DXO Model

The idea of a DXO is quite straightforward and based on the idea that the 'X' should define the purpose of the destination and can easily be replaced with a more precise term instead of the traditional management or marketing which are often still defining a DMO. Destinations need to take a step back to actively think about what the 'X' should stand for in their future destination scenario. Defining the term can be useful, bringing clarity both internally as to the future purpose of a digital strategy and activities and externally, setting a clear message as to what the tourist board is set out to achieve and work as.

So how can destinations define the 'X'? As a first step, we encourage your team to clearly define the needs of visitors, stakeholders, your own organisational and industry needs. Instead of thinking from your perspective, try and put yourself into the shoes of the different interest groups you work with. After defining the needs, think about what this now means for your destination. This will help you to define your focus from initial ideas to ultimately implementing change.

As a team, discuss what you think the 'X' should stand for and ideate how you can define your DXO in a clear way. Finding a focus for the future is important, implementing change, however, is even more important to ensure that you act on the decision. Consider what your organisation should do in the future, how your business model will change and what structures are needed. The goal is to manage internal and strategic change and transformation. Defining a clear roadmap and structure is critical to ensure you are not only introducing a new model for your destination but also actively acting on and utilising it.


Due to the nature of destinations, their role has always been heavily discussed no matter if we are looking at national, regional or city tourist boards. Over the years, a lot of discussions have taken place as to whether the term DMO stands for destination management or marketing organisation. Most destinations have adjusted their remit, focusing heavily on marketing the destination.