UNWTO Academy Seminar in Japan on Destination Management and UNWTO.QUEST

UNWTO Academy Seminar in Japan on Destination Management and UNWTO.QUEST

Wakayama University, in collaboration with UNWTO Academy, organized a Seminar on Destination Management and DMOs - the UNWTO QUEST Program on 16th May 2019 in Osaka, Japan.


The Seminar was mainly addressed to Japanese tourism DMOs, as well as to public and private stakeholders, with the main objectives to share information on the concept around Destination Management, as well on DMOs, good practices from all regions and current challenges DMOs are facing, and also to inform about the certification system for DMOs: the UNWTO.QUEST.


Around 80 participants listened and asked questions to:

  • Ms. Patricia Carmona, Specialist in Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at UNWTO, on “Institutional Strengthening in Destination Management: Preparing DMOs for new challenges”, and especially on what is commonly understood by “destination management”, the importance of Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), the roles and challenges for DMOs from international perspective and good practices of DMOs from all regions;

  • Ms. Noriko Tada, Director, Kumano Tourism Bureau, on key concepts and areas for a successful DMO while addressing the future challenges for Kumano Tourism Bureau

  • Ms. Sònia Figueras, Programmes Manager at UNWTO Academy, on the UNWTO.QUEST Certification System designed by UNWTO, whose aim is to reinforce their internal capacities in an ongoing improvement process based on capacity building activities (UNWTO Academy) which seeks to strengthen three key performance areas in destination management: Strategic Leadership, Effective Execution and Efficient Governance. Ms. Figueras also presented the UNWTO Academy and its education and training programmes and initiatives.

  • Mr. Keiichiro Yamada, CEO, JTIC Swiss, on the experience of JTIC Swiss in the region in Switzerland where it operates (Lucerne among others) and raised issues concerning the paradigm changes in the tourism industry and public and private stakeholders need to adapt the current needs and challenges to ensure competitive and sustainable destinations, with the DMO at the centre of the destination.

Following the presentations, the experts participated in a panel discussion that was moderated by Prof. Deguchi at Wakayama University. Prof. Deguchi addressed questions on the issues shared with the audience during their presentation. The panelists discussed about destination management, the role and governance models of DMOs and recommendations for Japanese DMOs based on the good practices from all regions and on the criteria and standards of the UNWTO.QUEST Certification System.


The Seminar finalised with a networking session so as to encourage participants and experts to pursuit this topic in Japan.

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