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Benchmarking for destination management organizations: the case of Swiss cities and Alpine destination management

Hansruedi Müller (Research Institute for Leisure and Tourism, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland)
Philipp Berger (Economist based in Bern, Switzerland)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 26 October 2012




Swiss destination management organizations (DMOs) are usually to a substantial portion supported by public funds. In order to establish political majorities for such public financing, some proof of the impact of the use of these subsidies must be of interest. The main goal of the case study presented in this paper is to develop a comprehensive tool for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of DMOs.


By using the structure of the Business Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management, the tool is mainly based on a system with 80 to 100 indicators. Selected DMOs are examined by a multi‐level methodology. Available information is collected within a document analysis. Subsequently, the directors of the DMOs are interviewed. Collected data are also consolidated by building and calculating comparative budget key figures and by conducting efficiency computations. Two benchmarking phases are conducted in order to develop and test the tool. In a first pilot phase four Swiss cities' DMOs are benchmarked. After an overview and revision of this first phase, a second phase with Swiss Alpine destination DMOs follows.


Both pilot phases were successfully completed. The two conducted phases of the benchmarking clearly showed that the choice of indicators guarantees a holistic view of the situation of the DMOs. The tested benchmarking tool can be labeled as qualitatively valid.


With the research project as a whole a new and tailor‐made benchmarking tool for DMO could be successfully implemented.



Müller, H. and Berger, P. (2012), "Benchmarking for destination management organizations: the case of Swiss cities and Alpine destination management", Tourism Review, Vol. 67 No. 4, pp. 26-39.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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