In the 11th year of independent out-of-state judging, the Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina has announced the winners in its annual Destination Marketing Achievement Awards program.
Durham's marketing agency, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, received five awards, bringing its total over 11 years to 65 awards. This year DCVB received three innovation awards, plus a platinum and gold award for destination marketing initiatives.
Awards to Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are broken down by the organization's size and into different categories of innovations and marketing initiatives. Durham is evaluated in comparison to places including Asheville, Charlotte, Currituck, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington. There were 22 awards given to large bureaus, with DCVB earning 23% of the awards, just 1 award shy of the six won by Currituck.
"I'm particularly pleased with the Platinum (highest) Award DCVB received for its cooperative program with The Herald-Sun touting Durham as the place Where Great Things Happen," said Shelly Green, President & CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Rick Bean, publisher of The Herald-Sun, was very generous in providing space for 52 full-page ads over the course of the year, so the community could better understand and celebrate Durham's distinct personality and overarching brand."
And make no mistake, Durhamites know their community's brand, as evidenced by a scientific public opinion poll where 83% of residents reported familiarity with the brand.
DCVB received a Gold Award in the category of "outreach programs" for its 4-part series (and white paper) on the Economic Impact of Visitors to Durham, which describes in layman's terms the economic benefits of destination marketing and how that translates to spending, tax revenue, and jobs. In addition to receiving recognition in this arena, the piece was lauded by the Southeast Tourism Society and a nationally-known tourism consultant. It also garnered DCVB a place on a panel of advocacy experts in a national webinar for Destination Marketing Association International.
Recognized nationwide for innovations in Destination Marketing, DCVB has garnered 29 innovation awards in the six years since the awards were established by DMANC. These entries are judged "blind" and are great affirmation of one of DCVB's most important core values: CANI – Continual And Never-ending Improvement.