An important announcement from the Chair of Destination Melbourne

Over the past 12 months, the Board and DM team embarked on a strategic planning process, where we completed a deep dive into our products and services and had in-depth conversations with our stakeholders, industry partners and customers to ensure we provide continuous value. 

However, with tightening market conditions and a rapidly changing technological landscape, the insights informed us that the Destination Melbourne business model was no longer sustainable.  We researched and lobbied extensively to explore sustainable models that were not supported by government nor by a membership-based approach. As a result, Destination Melbourne has made the strategic decision to wind down the existing business model with the last day of operation being Friday 31 May.  

As difficult as the decision was, the Melbourne industry is all about collaboration and it has never been truer today. Over the past month, the Destination Melbourne team have worked transparently and collaboratively with Visit Victoria, VTIC and Melbourne Airport to ensure some of the amazing legacy remains as we find rightful new ‘custodians’ for some of our core products and services, so they can continue to flourish and deliver value to the industry.

To date, Destination Melbourne has employed over 64 passionate industry professionals and has been fortunate to have 36 volunteer board members who have provided the organisation with leadership and expertise over an 18-year journey.

From 2001 to today, Destination Melbourne has been recognised for playing a pivotal role in the visitor economy, as well as spearheading the ‘visitor first’ principles that are our core pillars:

  • Elevate visitor needs & expectations: with the Visitability program & the development of the Destination Management Visitor Plan, the first of its kind for Melbourne
  • Empower ongoing industry development: the decade strong, award-winning Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program with over 230  graduates, Tourism Excellence workshops, CEO breakfasts, Destination Melbourne LIVE conference, Melbourne Tourism Week and the Check into China program 
  • Deliver visitor first products & campaigns: the Regional Victoria Melbourne Now campaign, the Discover Your Own Backyard (DYOB) campaign for the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market, the Destination Melbourne WeChat, and a suite of Official Visitor Guides (OVG) in English and Mandarin (more than 110 editions have been produced and 19.5 million copies printed and distributed) as well as the Official Visitor Map

We are very proud of the calibre of DM’s industry offerings and are pleased to confirm that they will continue to champion the visitor economy. The winter edition of the Official Visitor Guide and Chinese Official Visitor Guide, the Official Visitor Map 19/20 and the MTLP Program will continue as scheduled. There will be more specific updates on the remaining DM products shortly. 

Visit Victoria CEO, Peter Bingeman said the assets developed and delivered by Destination Melbourne over the years have become synonymous with best practice industry development: "Visit Victoria is working closely with Destination Melbourne, and key stakeholders, in exploring opportunities to support the continuation of some of the key programs and assets that are renowned throughout the industry."

VTIC Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani said: “Destination Melbourne will leave an indelible legacy on the tourism landscape in this city. The fact that consideration is being given to how so many of the programs they have created over the years can be maintained is testament to the vital role they have played in supporting Melbourne’s tourism industry. VTIC is pleased to have worked in close partnership over the years with Destination Melbourne and we salute all they have achieved.”

Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the entire visitor industry. It has been our pleasure championing our industry and highlighting key visitor issues and opportunities that have become part of our DNA. Without your ongoing support and work, the Melbourne visitor economy would not be what it is today, and we hope you continue to support the legacy of Destination Melbourne in its new form.

Sarah Seddon
Chair of Destination Melbourne