The government has announced a review to assess how destination management organizations across England are funded and structured.

The investigation will examine how they perform their roles to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting tourism at the regional level.

If so, the review will make recommendations on what that model may be.

The review is led by Nick de Bois, chair of the VisitEngland advisory board, acting in an independent capacity.

de Bois will receive administrative support from the department for digital, culture, media, and sport.

The review seeks to examine the extent to which the current destination management organization landscape:

  • Is economically efficient, effective, and sustainable (concerning funding, structure, and performance).
  • Best enables the government to meet its leisure and business tourism policy objectives at a national, regional, and local level.
  • Engages within the wider local and regional economic landscape, and the current focus on English devolution and ‘leveling up’.

Depending on the findings of this examination, the review will need to make recommendations, to the government, the tourism sector, or both as appropriate, about whether destination management organizations might be structured or funded differently.

The review will also look at what the role of destination management organizations should be, bearing in mind existing local structures such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mayoral Combined Authorities, local authorities, and other similar local/regional bodies.

Over the coming months, the review team will aim to speak to as many English destination management organizations as possible, ensuring consultation with a diverse and representative spread of these organizations in terms of geographical location, size, and nature of funding streams.

Commenting on the review, Deirdre Wells, chief executive of Go To Places, said: “This review comes at a critical time for the visitor economy as we begin to rebuild our industry post-Covid.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the fundamental role which destination management organizations play in supporting an industry worth over £127 billion.

“Ensuring our destination management organizations have the resources to continue to deliver high-quality destination management which boosts business, supports communities, and transforms our high streets is essential.”