Don't wait for budget kick-back to happen. Here's how to be better prepared with data and arguments so you can retain valuable destination marketing budgetBy Carolyn Childs, co-founder and strategist, MyTravelResearch.comIt's brutal reality. Many destination marketing organisations (DMOs) are now tasked with doing more with a lot less money. Marketing money is tight most places. US States are facing dramatic budget cuts. (Brand USA may even be scrapped.) Visit Britain has suffered years of cuts. There are many examples around the world.So what can DMOs do to better manage the process?Having worked closely with DMOs over the years, MyTravelResearch.com believes it's time for destination marketers to quietly review their budget defence assumptions and techniques. It's not just about this year or next year. It's a long-term strategic issue.Having looked across the range of successful strategies and talked to a variety of DMOs from national tourism organisations to local government areas, councils and towns, MyTravelResearch.com believes there are three indispensible elements to defending your marketing budget.We call it the \"ACE\" strategy.A is for Allies. Gather Them Around You The most successful DMOs we have seen have a network of people to support them that is both deep (within the visitor economy) and broad (across other sectors).You need to ask yourself, \"Whose views are CFO and public auditors going to respect and trust?\" \"Who is too important to ignore?\" To use a case study from Australia, it was the political clout of the farming sector that helped the tourism industry mitigate the impact of thebackpacker tax in 2016-17.Furthermore, don't underestimate the importance of the public in this. Call upon as many allies as possible the public, different sectors, chambers of commerce, NGOs. Build a network of allies with skin in the game.The Big C: Collaborate With Your AlliesOnce you have your network built, speak with one voice. As tourism is a sector with co
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