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Action and outcome metrics for evaluating destination marketing programs

Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISBN: 978-0-76231-451-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-522-2

Publication date: 25 July 2008


The present chapter includes a case study that describes and analyzes three performance audit reports over a three decade period for one U.S. state government's destination management organization's (DMO) actions and outcomes. This report extends prior studies (Woodside & Sakai, 2001, 2003) that support two conclusions: (1) the available independent performance audits of DMOs’ actions and outcomes indicate that frequently DMOs perform poorly and fail to meaningfully assess the impacts of their own actions and (2) the audits themselves are shallow and often fail to provide information on DMOs’ actions and outcomes relating to these organizations largest marketing expenditures. The chapter calls for embracing a strategy shift in designing program evaluations by both government departments responsible for managing destinations’ tourism marketing programs and all government auditing agencies in conducting future management performance audits. The chapter offers a “tourism performance audit template” as a tool for both strategic planning by destination management organizations and for evaluating DMOs’ planning and implementing strategies. The chapter includes an appendix – a training exercise in using the audit template and invites the reader to download a tourism performance audit report of a destination marketing organization and to apply the template after reading the report.


Woodside, A.G. and Sakai, M.Y. (2008), "Action and outcome metrics for evaluating destination marketing programs", Woodside, A.G. (Ed.) Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 333-377.



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