by Chris Ribaudo

Whether you are new to the destination marketing industry or an experienced DMO professional, we all need to learn the basics and keep updated on them.

One such fundamental are destination marketing’s acronyms.

Making Destination Marketing Jargon Clear

Like other industries, destination marketing uses acronyms every day.

Acronyms are words formed from the first letter of the successive parts of a compound word. They shorten compound words and titles. Typically, they’re easy to remember and faster to communicate with, so they frequently appear in marketing content and industry discourses.

SMG Consulting believes in the importance of mastering the fundamentals of destination marketing. This, in part, requires a clear understanding of key concepts, basic definitions and common acronyms and being able to apply and use them.

So, here are three important acronyms you need to know: CVB, DMO and DMC.

What Do They Mean?


Convention and Visitor Bureaus promote the development and marketing of a destination. These organizations seek to grow and sustain economic development of a destination through increased business traveler and tourist visits. They are also responsible for cultivating and projecting the destination’s brand and for raising awareness of their destination to visitors. Typically, these organizations focus on convention sales, event marketing, and offer many programs and services to visitors.


The term Destination Marketing Organization is used interchangeably with Convention and Visitor Bureau. Some make a slight distinction in that a DMOs primary focus is on group business travel instead of business and leisure travel. That said, DMOs and CVBs similar, if not the same. Both are considered destination experts, and both help groups get the most out of their visit.


Destination Management Companies, like CVBs and DMOs, have extensive local knowledge, but their expertise is a destination’s ground offerings. They focus on the implementation and logistics of agendas, events, and activities. Their overall goal is to bring the relevant best of a destination to a client and deliver an experience that leads to future repeat visits.

Keep in Mind

The definitions above are general descriptions. For many past years, CVBs, DMOs and DMCs existed in a relatively static environment. For a long time, each organization’s roles and services remained basically unchanged.

No more.

Technology’s disruptive forces, AI’s transformational insights, marketing’s relentless pursuit of visitor intimacy, and visitor expectation’s inexorable rise all converge on CVBs, DMOs, and DMCs to constantly adapt and innovate–or be pushed to the periphery of irrelevance in visitor’s perceptions and minds.

So, as you read this, keep in mind that the roles and service sets of CVBs, DMOs and DMCs are continuously evolving and changing. Expect to continuously update your knowledge of these three organization types in the future.

Why it Matters

Knowing different industry organizations and acronyms in the destination marketing industry probably won’t make or break your career. It will, however, help you better understand and more easily partake in conversations going on around you every day– locally, nationally and globally.

On a subtler level, up-to-date knowledge and displayed mastery of destination marketing’s fundamentals, (like organization acronyms), can positively or negatively impact people’s perception of you and your personal brand.

Before you sell your destination, you must first “sell” yourself to the decisionmakers and people you lead. Wise destination marketers know this old chestnut still stands and do it.

Something to think about.