Organizational Best Practices are Updated: New DMAP Standards to be Implemented in April 2018

By: Maura Allen Gast, FCDME, Executive Director of the Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau

I know, I know.  Just when you thought you had this accreditation/reaccreditation thing down to a science we’ve gone and changed everything…and we have.

Your DMAP Board – otherwise known as the “hardest working board in show business” – took a long hard look at its current set of standards and determined that with the pace that our worlds continue to change and evolve the standards and domains were due for a major overhaul.

Many of you have asked for more since this program began. The ability to get a higher rating, or additional stars, or something that would reinforce your commitment to organizational excellence, and provide a greater opportunity for recognition for those initiatives you’ve led that truly do go above and beyond. We’ve added a new domain – aspirational – to the accreditation process, and if you are able to achieve a minimum of 10 of the 20 new standards in this category, you will be accredited – with distinction. We’ve taken great efforts to make sure that 10 is a number that any sized destination, with any budget, in any organizational structure could achieve, if the willingness to reach is there. And just to be clear – you don’t have to do anything in the aspirational category and you can still be accredited (assuming you’ve met all the other standards).

With the exception of the newly created aspirational domain, gone are the “voluntaries” that were an occasional part of the various domains. They were confusing to you as applicants, and even more confusing to us as reviewers. (If you answered “No” to a voluntary you were technically non-compliant, even though it was voluntary…)  So now, everything in every category (except the aspirational one) is mandatory.  

We’re also now “always on” so you don’t have to wait for a specific cycle within the year to submit your applications. We’ll still review them in a set schedule of cycles, but you can calendar your submittal for when it works best for you.

As a board, we’ve also made the commitment to review our domains and standards at least every three years, so that we are keeping up with the changes in the industry, in the world and in our communities and organizations.

We’ve worked hard to make sure that the mandatory requirements are the right things for the forward-thinking destination organization to take on.  Some of them do require some heavy lifting – but it’s the type of heavy lifting that makes our organizations – and our industry – stronger and better.

About Maura:

An almost 27-year veteran of the Irving CVB, Maura was named executive director in October 2003. Maura is a former chair of Destinations International, and currently chairs its newly established Certified Destination Management Executive Board of Directors and serves on the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program board, the DestinationNEXT task force and is a DestinationNEXT facilitator. She has earned the designation of Fellow, Certified Destination Management Executive (FCDME). 

The globally recognized Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) serves as a visible industry distinction that defines quality and performance standards in destination marketing and management. Achieving DMAP accreditation positions a destination organization or CVB as a valued and respected organization in your community and increases your credibility among stakeholders. For more information on DMAP, click here.