An update on the Forum and an important ask of each of the destinations in England in membership.
Those of you at the first of the VisitEngland Destinations Management Forum meetings since VB took over the mantel for England will know that there was some debate about whether to set the new Forum up as an entirely independent body not under VB/VE’s administration and therefore more easily able to lobby.
After some discussion with other existing representative bodies and VB/VE it looks increasingly likely that it has been agreed to maintain an expanded forum under the auspices of VB/VE with the forum itself setting c 50% of the agenda for each meeting. Any associated lobbying that may or may not fall out of those meeting, or occur as a consequence outside of it, will wherever possible be channeled via the existing Tourism Alliance route, specifically using the coincidental board membership of ourselves, Core Cities, TMI and a few others as the avenue of approach. This should strengthen the destination voice, not further divide it.
There is still some debate over who should chair the Forum, I and several others have indicated that a VB/VE chair is preferable. VB/VE seem to think destinations might want one of their own. A nice idea but probably fraught? I have also suggested that if neither option is workable then why not appoint someone from the industry who isn’t from a destination background and who could simply facilitate the meetings? Whatever the outcome it is hardly a deal breaker.
Meanwhile VB have taken the original published VE list of “DMO” in England which was entirely randomly presented and sorted it in to English regions and placed DMO’s in alphabetical order in each region by whatever title they had for them. The new lists confirms my original belief that there are a number of minor errors (i.e. Scarborough in the North East not Yorkshire, Redcar the other way round? Out of date organisation titles etc.), possible duplication (i.e. VisitSouthport and Sefton MBC) and far more worrying lots of potential omissions, including a number of urban and rural British Destination members. I could simply decide who is or isn’t missing but ultimately its your decision whether you want to be officially recognized as an English DMO. Being on the list, recognized and invited doesn’t mean you then have to attend the forum meetings.
Please study the list accessible below and let me have any corrections for your own entries. Since I think that making sure that the forum is truly representative from the outset is in everyone best interests, please also consider letting me have any omissions you might notice from your sub region or peer group. I will then contact them (good PR for BD) and consolidate the lot and pass it to colleagues in VE who are as keen as we are to get this right:
Revised list: destination-management-organisations-in-england
(Old original list: destination_organisations_in_england )