Gretzel, Ulrike; Fesenmaier, Daniel R.; Formica, Sandro; and O'Leary, Joseph T., 2006, Searching for the future: challenges faced by destination marketing organizations, Journal of Travel Research, 45(2), 116-126.
Threats in the external environment and changes in the industrys markets and structures have challenged destination marketing organizations to change in fundamental ways. The strategic responses to these developments are essentially decisions to proactively shape, adapt to, or passively struggle through a crisis. Envisioning the future of tourism and examining possible ways of reaching various future scenarios are essential exercises in this process of deciding which strategic approach to adopt. In response to the increasing need for new visions of the future of tourism and particularly destination marketing, leading destination marketers from the midwestern United States were invited to participate in a large focus group to discuss the specific challenges encountered by their organizations. This article summarizes the issues raised and their implications for destination marketing organizations as well as tourism research.