Discover Durham
LINK TO SECTION: DCVB Mission Statement What We Do
  DCVB Vision Statement DCVB Core Values

DCVB Mission Statement

Discover Durham (DD) is a local tourism development authority chartered by state and local government in cooperation with the private sector to attract and serve visitors to the City and County of Durham by reinvesting a portion of the visitor-paid “room occupancy and tourism development tax” in promotion and marketing to fuel the local business climate and expand the tax base.

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DCVB Vision Statement

DCVB Vision

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What We Do

“Place” or “Destination” marketing are the two most common descriptors for the activity of branding and marketing a place to draw visitors and visitor spending. It’s often referred to as “demand-side economic development” because it focuses on attracting “who buys” as contrasted to traditional economic development’s focus on drawing “what’s being produced.”

This type of marketing is spearheaded by what are commonly know as DMOs, or destination marketing organizations, like the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. The process of marketing Durham as a destination is a blend or mix of:

• Diagnostics & Planning

• Destination Branding & Positioning

• Direct Group Sales & Sales Promotions

• Earned Media & Publicity

• Paid Advertising, Direct & Electronic Marketing

• Partnerships, Alliances & Co-op Marketing

• Publications, Services, Distribution & Fulfillment

A visitor “destination” is typically a city, county, or town representing a closely proximate, interconnected, and complementary set of place-based assets or features, events, services, which together create a total experience and “unique sense of place.” An urban planner, Benton MacKay, once noted that it was important for destinations to understand that “place” is more about revealing what you already have rather than just building something new.

DCVB is a steward for Durham as a destination and for its place-based assets (cultural-heritage, natural, and built). It helps to sustain the destination by forging an umbrella partnership with hotels, restaurants, airlines, retail stores, transportation services and other visitor-related businesses and organizations to draw visitors to Durham.

Many years ago, marketing was commonly limited to “selling.” It consisted of trying to convince anyone and everyone to visit a community. Today, marketing still includes “selling” as an important component, but now everything is driven by the needs of the visitor rather than the needs of the seller.

A successful destination marketing effort identifies and prospects potential visitors for whom Durham will be a successful, rewarding experience, and who in turn will respect and help sustain Durham’s unique sense of place, place-based assets, economy, and tax base.

Of course, to achieve these objectives, destination marketing also includes “point of sale” marketing once the visitors have arrived to ensure they circulate around Durham as much as possible beyond the main purpose for the trip.

At the end of the day, destination marketing is about fueling the local business climate and generating local tax revenues to make its residents’ quality of life sustainable.

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DCVB Core Values

• Don't take things personally - Questions are not criticism.

• Work as a team for the best solutions to problems.

• Embrace new technology and innovation quickly.

• Network to solve problems - Align.

• Resolve conflicts directly with the individuals involved.

• Use and understand solid project management principles.

• Keep bureau business bureau business.

• Seek solutions, not blame.

• Strive for continual and never-ending improvement (CANI).

• Live, work, and play in Durham. Experience the product DCVB sells.

• Be assertive rather than passive or aggressive.

• Conduct after-action reports (post-mortems) to learn from mistakes.

• Keep learning & growing.

• Confront injustice.

• Believe in the power of shared learning. Pass on knowledge learned.

• Document projects and progress in e-mail.

• Know who stakeholders are on every project. Represent them fairly and equally.

• Provide accurate information; proofread work.

• Put the customers first (internal and external).

• Remember the staff serves as ambassadors for Durham-both on and off the job.

• Treat others with mutual respect.

• When in doubt, ask questions.

• When in doubt, your direct supervisor is the first person to consult.

• Always do your best.

• Embrace speed and strike the optimum balance with quality.

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