CDME Courses

The CDME program prepares senior executives, who want to advance their careers to blend theory with experience and application of knowledge to help industry leaders thrive in a constantly changing environment. The program focus is on vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies.

Core Courses

Strategic Issues In Destination Management

  • Understand what it means to be a destination marketer, manager and leader.
  • Understand global and national constraints, opportunities and trends affecting destination marketing and management.
  • Learn the key factors and new initiatives that make destination marketing professionals and organizations successful.
  • Discern the destination visioning and strategic planning process and how the community and
  • industry become stakeholders in branding and tourism development.
  • Know the latest thinking and solutions to current destination issues and challenges such as branding, funding, performance accountability, community relations/advocacy, industry partnerships and visitor relationship management.

Destination Marketing and Sales

  • Become exposed to the “vanguard” thinking in convention and leisure travel marketing through relationship/database, social media and partnership/regional promotion.
  • Learn about alternate approaches to destination marketing strategies and promotional/sales planning.
  • Learn a systematic, step-by-step approach to preparing marketing strategies.
  • Understand research and evaluation sources and techniques needed for effective destination
  • marketing programs.
  • Acquire knowledge of new trends and learn the success stories in domestic, regional and international convention and leisure marketing.

Destination Leadership

  • Discuss the essence of leadership and the qualities needed to excel, both for your organization and within the community.
  • Review the factors that contribute to organizational success, including organizational values, and company culture.
  • Adopt key leadership concepts and discuss the importance of emotional intelligence
  • Demonstrate the implications of not following best practices in financial leadership, and review the benefits of doing a comprehensive organizational assessment.
  • Highlight essential communications tools including the business plan, annual report, stakeholder meetings, and others.
  • Discuss key human resources practices such as salary studies, handbook development, job descriptions and performance evaluations.
  • Understand how to find the right board member, the benefits of solid board governance, and effective ways to communicate with your board.
  • Consider the importance of crisis communications and how you can ensure your DMO is prepared.

Destination Advocacy and Community Relations

  • Achieve a new appreciation of visitor industry and government relations as it affects destination marketing leadership.
  • Understand the need and process in preparing an advocacy and local communications strategy.
  • Know the key principles and practices in strengthening the partnership among government, visitor industry, community and destination organization leadership.
  • Ascertain success factors in the governance of a visitor destination.
  • Understand key stakeholder needs and destination organization best practices.
  • Obtain the latest thinking and solutions to current destination organization challenges in the visitor industry, media, resident and government relations.

Core Course Papers

For each* of the four core courses, the CDME participant is required to prepare a minimum 3-page (double-spaced, equivalent to 750 words) take-home descriptive report on some idea, concept, procedure or practice taken from the particular course and applied to the participant’s destination organization.  The paper should contain an introductory description of the item in question, the proposed or actual process in implementation, and the perceived or actual benefits derived.  Exhibits may be attached as addenda, but do not count toward the 3-page/750 word requirement.

The paper must be completed within 21 days of the completion of the core course, and should be sent via email as a PDF file to [email protected]. You must submit your paper prior to registering for your next CDME course. 

*For the Destination Advocacy and Community Relations core, the requirement is for a detailed advocacy plan outline for the destination organization, identifying key contents with some description of the goals, tactics and means of determining success.

Elective Courses

Effective January 2020, CDME candidates will choose two of six elective courses. The CDME elective courses have been enhanced and revised to focus on the most critical and strategic topics with which industry leaders must be familiar and equipped to face.

  • Destination Positioning and Branding
  • Destination Organization Human Resources and Talent Development
  • Destination Information and Research
  • Development of the Destination Experience
  • Destination Economic Development (new in 2020)
  • Destination Organization Financial Management

Contact

For assistance or more information, please contact:

Rori Ferensic headshot
Rori Ferensic
Senior Director of Education
+1-202-835-4089
[email protected]