Tomorrow Today

Tomorrow Today is the business strategy of European Cities Marketing (ECM) in an era when complex and long termed strategies are almost becoming obsolete as the future can no longer be determined by linear thinking or prudent planning.

Still, we proudly present the strategy as our sense of purpose and direction in a fast-changing visitor economy – and as a manifesto of our beliefs and values as a community of passionate professionals.

With Tomorrow Today, we tackle a radical new paradigm in destination management and city marketing where global connectivity, rapid leaps in technologies, powerful global transaction platforms and political disruption have become permanent driving forces in urban travel, experiencing, conferences and events.

Tomorrow Today is our pledge to all our member cities that ECM is a vigilant and forward-looking community determined to help prepare today what we believe to be critical for success in the market arena of tomorrow. It is imperative for ECM to enable members to align their own strategic agenda with whatever demands, challenges and opportunities the future will bring.

Tomorrow Today also leaves behind some fundamental assumptions and functions associated with yesterday’s Destination Management Organisation (DMO). In today’s context, the DMO’s role as the city’s principal marketer is seriously contested along with the end-goal of ever-growing visitor numbers for profit and jobs only.

Tomorrow Today is setting the agenda for what’s coming next: a non-deniable call for responsible tourism for better cities where less might sometimes be more. Today, the cities’ citizens and stakeholders rightfully expect the visitor economy to contribute more to quality of life and a lasting legacy in the city.

Tomorrow Today constitutes ECM as a European member driven organisation gathering under one roof Destinations Marketing Organisations, Destination Management and Marketing Organisations, Tourist Offices, Convention Bureaux, City Marketing Organisations, Regional Organisations, and National Tourist Offices /Convention Bureaux.

First and last, we are for the members and by the members. During the coming few years, ECM will step up the ambition to be the number one knowledge network and collaborative platform for DMOs on the planet. Nothing less.

Tomorrow Today means that ECM, as an association, must take its own medicine. We will rescope, rebrand, recruit and recharge. We will partner with the very best and abandon the somewhat boxy concept of urban tourism in the conversation that lies ahead. It worked fine yesterday, but it will be inadequate tomorrow.

We are delighted that our strategic journey has been facilitated by Peter Rømer Hansen/Rømer Agency who also helped us conceive this document. Finally, also a warm thank you to all the member cities and friends of ECM who have contributed with their valuable inspiration and insights along the way.

Edinburgh, February 2019

ECM Board