PDM Course Explorer

The Professional in Destination Management (PDM) certificate program provides those new to the destination organization side of the industry (less than one year of experience) with cutting-edge education, offering entry-level personnel the critical skills and knowledge necessary to start their careers in the travel and tourism industry.

Registration for PDM is purchased as a package. Both of the two required courses must be completed to receive the Professional in Destination Management Certificate of Completion.

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Fundamentals of Destination Management & Marketing
13 modules

The Fundamentals of Destination Management and Marketing course focuses on evolving trends in the travel and tourism industry and how destination organizations successfully align with these changes. Key to this success is the operations of the organization and its place within the travel and tourism industry. 

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Fundamentals of Sales
10 modules

No sales, no business. It's the most fundamental fact of commerce. However, sales is often one of the most misunderstood and mismanaged aspects of business, despite its obvious and enormous importance. This course will take a deep dive into the sales function and why it’s essential to a destination organization.

Fundamentals of Destination Management & Marketing

Upon successful completion of this course, attendees will:

  • Understand the evolving role of the destination organization and its value to the destination
  • Understand the destination organization’s operating environment and structure
  • Understand the difference between destination marketing and destination management
  • Understand the need for strategic planning and research/data analysis
  • Understand who the tourism stakeholders are and how to engage them in destination place-making

Modules

Welcome
Details +
The course instructors provide an introduction to the overall structure of the course and key takeaways.
Maura Gast headshot Maura Gast
Executive Director
Irving, Texas CVB / Visit Irving
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Our History as an Industry
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Learn about the evolution of destination organizations and their roles in the community as well as the local visitor economy.
Maura Gast headshot Maura Gast
Executive Director
Irving, Texas CVB / Visit Irving
DestinationNEXT Overview
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The technological advancements within our industry are rapidly increasing the pace of change and creating new opportunities. But not all change and growth for destination organizations is reliant on technology. Destination leaders must continuously look to the future to remain relevant, and the DestinationNEXT study supports destination organizations in that effort. 
Maura Gast headshot Maura Gast
Executive Director
Irving, Texas CVB / Visit Irving
Organization Structures
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Destination organizations come in all sizes, structures and funding sources, and domestic organizations fill many roles and serve a variety of customer bases. Your particular organization might fit into one of these types or might be a combination of these structures.
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Governance
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Most destination organizations are required to be governed by some entity, whether it be city/county management, elected officials, a board of directors, a tourism development commission, or a combination of the above. Learn about how governance is a key component to a destination organization's strength and success.
Maura Gast headshot Maura Gast
Executive Director
Irving, Texas CVB / Visit Irving
Human Resources and Talent Management
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Describe the roles and responsibilities of HR, explain the purpose of HR policies and procedures, explain the importance of building a strong organizational culture, list practices for strengthening team management and explain what motivates team members in destination organizations.

Guest Instructors:
Tammy Canavan headshot Tammy Canavan
Executive Vice President
Fired Up! Culture
Jennifer Johnson headshot Jennifer Johnson
Vice President, Operations
Monterey County CVB
Finance
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Understanding the fundamentals of finance is integral to every position in the destination organization. Many organizations are funding by a portion of public dollars (hotel occupancy taxes) resulting in increased public scrutiny and the crticial need for transparency.

Guest Instructor:
Julie Hart headshot Julie Hart
President
CFO by design
Advocacy & Community Relations
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Destination organizations are faced with many challenges that can divert time and energy away from their primary mission. The first priority should always be to determine and deliver the needs and desires of the citizens of the destination organization’s community. A well thought out advocacy plan coupled with a strong community relations effort will ensure that priority is met.
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Destination Research
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Successful market research initiatives allow destinations to benefit from visitor and convention/event conversion, longer lengths of stay and higher spend levels, along with additional economic and community benefits.
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Marketing & Promotion Development
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The visitor experience is what destination marketing is all about, and developing a list of primary and secondary target markets is critical to planning. Once planning and research are complete, it will be easier to develop and implement a brand for the destination.
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Fundamentals of Destination Sales
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A strong sales effort is everyone’s job in a successful destination organization. Without a well thought out sales plan for any customer target market, part of the message will be lost. Sales supports all the other marketing disciplines by adding direct contact with the customer.
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
Technology
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Destination organizations depend on technology to meet the needs of their internal and external customers. When used to its fullest potential, technology can support the organization’s day-to-day operations, sales, customer service, and research activities.

Guest Instructor:
Jim Ganotis headshot Jim Ganotis
Director of IT & Operations
Destination Cleveland
Conclusion
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Join the course instructors for a wrap-up of the learning takeaways from the entire course to prepare you for your course assessment.
Maura Gast headshot Maura Gast
Executive Director
Irving, Texas CVB / Visit Irving
Jack Wert headshot Jack Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB

Fundamentals of Sales

Upon successful completion of this course, attendees will:

  • Learn basic sales strategies and tactics
  • Understand the language of sales
  • Prepare for a sales opportunity
  • Begin the discussion on the right foot
  • Make an effective pitch
  • Handle objections
  • Seal the deal
  • Follow up on sales
  • Set sales goals
  • Manage sales data
  • Use a prospect board

Modules

Welcome
Details +
The course instructors provide an introduction to the overall structure of the course and key takeaways.
Kristin McGrath headshot Kristin McGrath
VP of Sales, Services & Sports
Visit Albuquerque
Wes Rhea headshot Wes Rhea
Chief Executive Officer
Visit Stockton
CVB Sales and Services vs. Hotel Sales and Services
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Sales and services are core functions of a destination organization. This module will provide an understanding of sales and services best practices with an emphasis on how this applies to entire destinations as opposed to a hotel property.
Kristin McGrath headshot Kristin McGrath
VP of Sales, Services & Sports
Visit Albuquerque
Understanding and Positioning the Destination Assets
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Identifying prospects and distributing requests for proposals (RFPs) are key responsibilities for destination organization sales and services professionals. Learn how to explain the destination's assets relative to a client's needs.
Kristin McGrath headshot Kristin McGrath
VP of Sales, Services & Sports
Visit Albuquerque
Sales 101: Prospecting and Qualifying
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The time and effort put in to prospecting and qualifying will not only allow you to better utilize your time and resources; it also demonstrates to the meeting planner that you respect and appreciate their time.
Wes Rhea headshot Wes Rhea
Chief Executive Officer
Visit Stockton
Marketing
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Marketing is key to attracting planners to your destination. Learn how to explain what marketing is, describe the various types of research and metrics used in marketing planning, explain the difference between destination positioning and branding and identify the importance of social media and digital marketing.

Guest Instructor:
Cody Chomiak headshot Cody Chomiak
Director of Marketing
Tourism Winnipeg
Requests for Proposals and Responding to RFPs
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Responding to Requests For Proposals in a timely and professional manner positions your destination for more business while also meeting the needs of your clients and stakeholders.
Kristin McGrath headshot Kristin McGrath
VP of Sales, Services & Sports
Visit Albuquerque
Third Party and Independent Planners
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The industry has seen growth in third party and independent planners over the past decade.  Understanding who they are and how to work with them is key to a comprehensive sales strategy.
Wes Rhea headshot Wes Rhea
Chief Executive Officer
Visit Stockton
Planning FAMs, Destination Previews, Site Inspections
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Preparation for customized site visits ensures clients’ expectations are met and your destination shines.
Kristin McGrath headshot Kristin McGrath
VP of Sales, Services & Sports
Visit Albuquerque
Working the Trade Show Floor
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Tradeshows are great opportunities to get face-to-face and build long lasting relationships with your planners but they can also be a waste of time if not properly executed. Getting the most out of these opportunities can lead to creating new business opportunities for your destination.
Wes Rhea headshot Wes Rhea
Chief Executive Officer
Visit Stockton
Conclusion
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Review the learning takeaways from the entire course to prepare you for your course assessment.

About the Modules

  • Each module contains a PDF of the slide deck, which you can download and print.
  • Each module contains a video. Click the play arrow to watch the full video.
  • Each module contains a knowledge check quiz.  Once you close the video, you will be able to access the quiz.  You will have unlimited attempts to pass the quiz, but you must successfully pass the quiz before you can move on to the next module.
  • Once you have completed all modules, you will then be able to access the course final exam.
  • Both course final exams must be completed to receive your Professional in Destination Management certificate of completion.
Register Now
Members US$495 | Non-Members US$695 | The PDM program is comprised of two courses, purchased as a package. Both courses are required and must be successfully completed to receive the Professional in Destination Management Certificate of Completion.