How Regional Airports and DMO’s are Partnering


How Regional Airports and DMOs are Partnering

Picture of By Douglas Ralston

By Douglas Ralston

Today, most regional airports are in a constant effort of making their service more customer-centric and lucrative for travelers. They are trying hard to overcome the old belief that smaller regional airports do not have the resources and abilities to cater to the needs of a large number of travelers.


While it is true that regional airports serve a lesser number of destinations and allow fewer flights to take off, they still have the capability to serve their customers in a sophisticated way. Thus, to break down the age-old perception of their relevance and attract more visitors, regional airports have started adopting modern technology.

They have also started partnering with destination marketing organizations also known as (DMOs) to boost their advertising and marketing efforts. DMOs have the job of boosting local tourism and attracting more and more travelers and increasing their spending.


They share a common goal with regional airports – increasing the number of tourists and boosting local tourism. This has resulted in a mutually-beneficial partnership between regional airports and DMOs. Today, DMOs are helping regional airports in advertising their services and implementing high-tech attractions and features in and around the airport.


Why should regional airports consider partnering with DMOs?

As per the data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2017, almost 57% of all global tourists arrive at their destination by air. This presents a huge opportunity for regional airports to boost their business and attract more travelers. Since the main job of a DMO is to boost local tourism, it naturally makes airlines and airports its most important customer.


After the COVID-19 pandemic, the traveling habits of people have changed drastically. With technology becoming more and more prominent, tourists now expect a more engaging and personalized experience and aren’t impressed with anything. Since they have become dependent on technology for their every need, they expect businesses to adopt the “digital way” of doing things.


Here are some major benefits that regional airports can enjoy while working with a DMO:
  • Continuous support and guidance
  • Actionable and result-oriented marketing tips and tricks for the regional airports
  • By partnering with a DMO, regional airports also get a chance of reaching hundreds of new eyes that can become their next visitors.
  • No need to invest in their own marketing resources as the DMO will take care of the marketing and advertising.
Tech for Airports

On one hand, where regional airports are leveraging technology to improve their services, DMOs are using it to promote their partner airports in a better way.



Ways to use Technology to get to more Visitors
Destination marketing organizations are leveraging technology to reach more visitors and improve the marketing and advertising game of regional airports.
Let’s have look at some ways in which a partnership with DMOs can help regional airports in improving their business:
  1. Digital kiosks: The demand for digital kiosks has increased in regional airports. The global airport kiosk market is expected to grow steadily at a CAGR of 11%. By implementing interactive kiosks, airport authorities can help passengers easily find their way around the airport or new transportation options. DMOs can also leverage digital kiosks for advertisement-related purposes while driving in destination events and attractions. The Kiosks can be placed in various places and used to promote exciting local activities of the destination, “must-visit” places, “must-try” foods, and so on. An interactive kiosk can easily convey your message to the tourist.
  2. Digital  Video Walls and Signage: Digital signage is another excellent way for regional airports to promote local tourism. By using digital signage at visitor centers and other places in the regional airport, DMOs can promote local tourist places in an exciting way. These signages are placed in such a way that they immediately capture the attention of the visitor and convey the message in an engaging way. Apart from being used as an advertising medium, digital signage also serve a variety of purposes in modern-day airports. It can help in conveying information regarding gate numbers for arrival and departure and the status of flight arrival, delays, and more. Further, implementing digital signage can also help the airport provide important information to visitors easily and quickly.
  3. Digital channels: All popular DMOs have a very strong digital presence. They leverage technology in the best way to promote their member businesses. A DMO can use digital channels including blogs, websites, and social media accounts to create some buzz for its partnering regional airport and help it attract more visitors 
Transportation and Sustainability
Most big and small airports are now investing in technologies that can help them reduce their carbon footprint and be more eco-friendly. In fact, the global air transport industry has declared to reach a net-zero carbon emission by the end of the year 2050.
Technology will play an important role in helping the airport become more sustainable. For one, advanced AI and analytics can help a regional airport in measuring its carbon footprint. This, in turn, will help the airport in assessing its carbon efficiency and develop ways to improve it. Adopting sustainable transportation technology is also a great way for regional airports to become more eco-friendly. Being sustainable is also a great way to take care of the destination’s environment and attract more visitors.
Tying Together Member Programs and Stewardship

DMOs offer several member programs in which they specifically dedicate their efforts, resources, and time to develop better marketing plans for their members. Earlier, these members used to be hotels, tour operators, and other tourist attractions.


But today, regional airports are increasingly joining these DMO programs to promote themselves and their services. They can also conduct surveys and consider the opinions of all stakeholders. For example, by surveying visitors, DMOs can help regional airports in understanding the expectation of the tourists and improving their services accordingly. By tying together these member programs and destination stewardship, DMOs are helping regional businesses in adopting modern airport tech, enhancing their services while also retaining the qualities that make them unique.

The Bottom Line

The aviation industry, especially small regional airports, are facing more uncertainty than ever before. While they are trying to become more tech-friendly, the assistance of a reliable DMO can prove to be incredibly helpful to them and local tourism as a whole.


Along with partnering with a DMO, regional airports will also have to work on improving their services and making their booking process effortless. It is because while a DMO can help the airports gain more attention, the final conversion depends on how good of a service the airport is providing.

Today, DMOs are helping regional airports in developing actionable marketing plans, promoting their services to customers, and guiding them during these challenging times.


By working together, regional airports and DMOs can convince more visitors to travel to the local destination and have a good time there. Looking at the clearly evident benefits of this partnership between regional airports and DMOs is going to stay intact in the future too.


In fact, we can expect more regional airports to come together with reputed DMOs and adopt newer marketing channels including social media, digital signage, and promoting local tourism effectively. If you would like to see some examples of DMO’s and Airports partnering,  give us a call at 833-300-6664 or email us at for some case studies or to see a demo of options leveraging your existing systems.


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