75% of DMOs have seen budget reductions due to Covid-19, survey reveals

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75% of DMOs have seen budget reductions due to Covid-19, survey reveals

A new 2020 DMO Funding Survey published by European Cities Marketing (ECM) has shown that 75% of Europe’s urban Destination Management and Marketing Organisations (DMOs) have seen budget reductions as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with some reporting that the cuts were more than 50%.

ECM has called for decision-makers at local, national and EU level to “recognise the need for recovery funding if DMOs are to play their crucial role in the rebuilding of Europe’s urban travel and tourism sector”.

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”.

Published in collaboration with Danish strategy firm Group NAO, the objective of the ECM 2020 DMO Funding Survey is to assess the current funding situation and the crisis impact on the destination management and marketing organisations and to help both the DMOs but also political decision-makers understand the scope and severity of the crisis.

Petra Stusek, ECM president said: “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.

“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.”

Of the 67 DMOs surveyed, 89% agreed “partly or completely” that the crisis will lead the travel and tourism sector towards a more sustainable future.

In a letter to the European Commission on 2 July, 2020, Stusek stated: “European Cities Marketing is determined to contribute to this important work and has called for the European Union to promote a harmonised, coordinated response and recovery planning. We are confident it will contribute to building our shared understanding of the current situation, the depth of crisis and the financial outlook for European cities’ DMOs in navigating both the near and longer-term future. The Travel and Tourism industry is uniquely equipped to be part of sustainable global recovery efforts going beyond tourism, better for the planet and the people.”

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