Performance of the Japanese Destination Management Organizations (DMOs)

Proceedings of The International Conference on Tourism Management and Hospitality

Year: 2021


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Performance of the Japanese Destination Management Organizations (DMOs)

Yasuhiro Watanabe



To stop the weakening of the economy brought by the aging and decrease of population, Japan needs to expand the income from tourism, especially the inbound tourism.  However, the inbound traffic is currently concentrating along the major cities.  For the tourism to expand, the local areas need to receive more tourists.  The tourism promotion in the local areas have been carried out by governmental organizations. As tourism promotion requires sales and marketing, the national tourism authorities have introduced Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) to do this job.  Previous studies show world’s leading DMOs have i) independent internal governance and ii) adequate power to earn money by own business. Such DMOs are successful in bringing in more visitors to their areas.  This study scrutinizes the condition of the Japanese DMOs by analyzing the operation report submitted by DMOs to the Tourism Agency.  The result shows the Japanese DMOs equipped with the two factors are so far working efficiently in business.  Like the world’s DMOs, governance and ability to perform good commercial business are the key elements for success.  Currently about sixty tourism organizations are waiting to be chosen as a registered DMO.  When the Tourism Agency makes this selection, they should seriously take these two key elements into consideration.

keywords: tourism promotion, Destination Management, DMO, tourism marketing.