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Seven US destinations achieve accreditation status

The Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) announced that seven destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have recently achieved accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP).
The accreditation seal shows customers that a DMO has achieved a level of excellence to better serve the customers’ needs. In this application cycle the following DMOs were elevated to accredited DMO status:

  • Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (New Jersey, USA)
  • Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (Connecticut, USA)
  • Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission (Louisiana, USA)
  • Quad Cities Convention & Visitors  Bureau (Illinois, USA)
  • Tourism Richmond (British Columbia, Canada)
  • Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (Virginia, USA)
  • Visit Charlotte, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (North Carolina, USA)

DMAP is an industry-wide program developed by DMAI to establish a consistent standard for destination marketing operations. With thousands of DMOs operating around the globe, DMAP distinguishes those official DMOs that are committed to industry excellence.
Currently there are a total of 47 accredited DMOs. DMAI anticipates that nearly 100 DMOs will be accredited by the end of the 2008 application process.
“There are many objectives behind the accreditation program, but it all comes back to increased credibility with customers,” remarks Michael D. Gehrisch, president and CEO of DMAI. “Earning the DMAP accreditation assures members of the local DMO, local government officials, visitors and business partners that their trust is well-placed in the DMO.”
“We are extremely pleased to have nearly 50 DMOs accredited. It is a great honor to recognize these organizations for their achievement,”
remarks Barry Biggar, CDME, the board chair of DMAP and president and CEO of the Bryan-College Station CVB. “By completing the accreditation process, these DMOs have demonstrated exceptional leadership in destination marketing. Their accreditation underscores their dedication and commitment to providing outstanding destination marketing services in accordance with international standards and benchmarks in this field.”
To become accredited a DMO must successfully complete a rigorous application process, requiring evidence of compliance with 54 mandatory standards and 33 voluntary standards.  The standards set by DMAP cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence, innovation and stakeholder relationships.
“Being an accredited DMO shows a measure of transparency that reassures stakeholders. It also demonstrates a standardization of how business is transacted from one destination to the next – which is very appealing to meeting planners,” said Gehrisch.
DMAP is an independent international accreditation body and a leader in defining quality and performance issues in destination marketing.  There are three application cycles per year; each review cycle is limited to 25 applications. The next application deadlines are March 31, 2008 and August 31, 2008.

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