Independent Review of Destination Management Organisations published
In March 2021, the government announced an independent review to assess how Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level, and if so what that model may be. Its report and consultation response analysis was published in September 2021.
The review was led by Nick de Bois, Chair of the VisitEngland Advisory Board, acting in an independent capacity.
The review examined the extent to which the current DMO landscape:
- is economically efficient, effective and sustainable (with regard to funding, structure and performance)
- best enables the government to meet its leisure and business tourism policy objectives at a national, regional and local level
- engages within the wider local and regional economic landscape, and the current focus on English devolution and levelling up
With a view to making recommendations about:
- Whether DMOs might be structured or funded differently, and if so how any proposals might maximise post-COVID recovery and long-term success
- What the role of DMOs should be, bearing in mind existing other local structures such as local enterprise partnerships, mayoral combined authorities, local authorities and other similar local/regional bodies; and where these might intersect
- How DMOs should best engage with, and be engaged by, VisitEngland, VisitBritain and DCMS, as well as wider government/public bodies where relevant
The report recommends that DMO’s are grouped at a regional level through a lead organisation and provided with central funding for core activities that fit with Government priorities such as sustainability, skills, inclusive tourism and levelling up. Visit England would be charged with managing and supporting this new structure.
The report also recommends that the Tourism Minister is elevated to a Minister of State position and either reallocating responsibilities from other departments or the activities of teams within multiple departments to provide greater policy support.
The next step in the process is that the Government will respond to the findings and decide whether to adopt and implement any, some or all of the recommendations.