New 2020 DMO Funding Survey published by European Cities Marketing shows severe impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Europe's urban Destination Management and Marketing Organisations (DMOs). According to European Cities Marketing, the association of more than 120 urban DMOs in Europe, the new-normal reality could be an omen of a new era where DMOs take a clearer stand on balanced and holistic tourism development in the cities.
The crisis is global and it is needless to say that negative budget impacts like this have not been seen before in the DMO community - not even during the global financial crisis from 2009-2011.
Looking closer, the DMOs funding crisis is clearly multi-dimensional. All sources (commercial income, tax revenue, membership contributions etc.) have experienced plummeting incomes. The immediate observation is that few DMOs are left unaffected by the crisis - almost 75% of the 67 DMOs in the survey have had their 2020 budgets reduced and almost a third of these have seen severe reductions of more than 50%.
Petra Stusek, ECM President says: "It is crucial that decision members on local, national and EU-level understand that the crisis has slammed many DMOs financially along with the industry itself. If we do not act now, and remember to allocate a fair share of recovery funding and stimulus packages for the Destination management and marketing organisations, they won't be able to deliver on their crucial role of coordinating, facilitating and executing on the reboot of Europe's travel and tourism sector".
Despite this challenging scenario, DMOs are almost in total agreement, that the crisis will lead the land of travel and tourism towards a more sustainable future (89% agrees partly or completely). Also, most of the DMOs feel that the crisis has strengthened their political capital. At the moment, rebuilding tourism is a high political priority in many destinations and the DMOs are showing the relevance when coordinating and operating the recovery efforts. "ECM will further use these important results to advocate and act collectively on behalf of its members, actively supporting efforts to ensure the best possible framework for recovery," says Petra Stusek, ECM President. www.europeancitiesmarketing.com