Why you should offer unpaid memberships, and how it will actually grow your revenue.

Listen to it like a podcast!

What if all businesses that served your visitor, automatically qualified to be a member? How would that change your organization?

I have always found it interesting this push and pull between the need for Destination Marketing Organisations to represent the whole region, yet they gatekeep exposure of tourism operators to those that pay to be found via their channels.

Hang with me, I’m going to do my best to convince you it’s worth serious consideration.¬†¬†Here are a few arguments that immediately come to mind to support my premise;

  • It is in the best interest of the visitor.
  • You would increase your reach and relevance in your region.
  • It would remove a significant amount of ‘them and us’.
  • You would focus more on providing high value to paid members.
  • As a result, your proposition to new prospects and current members would be stronger.
  • Fewer factions would pop up competing with the DMO’s online properties out of frustration.
  • Your members would be exposed to more opportunities for collaboration.
  • You would have more to talk about.
  • You’d increase your leverage with other organizations and Council units.
  • Your internal team would have a better understanding of the region and products within.
  • You’d have a (warmer) pipeline to move more businesses to paid memberships.

Free members might get;

  • Can pay to attend events, with limitations around ticket numbers (preferencing members).
  • Listing on the DMO website/s.
  • A brochure in the local Visitor Information Centre.

Additions only for paid members or tiered membership;

  • Access to the destination brand kit and assets (such as images and videos)
  • Free or subsidized training and development.
  • Premium website listings.
  • Access to data.
  • A listing in Visitor Guides, on trails and maps.
  • Visitor Information Center’s are trained to better understand them.
  • In-person events.
  • Access to you. Calls and support.
  • Visibility and invitation to media opportunities.
  • ATDW listing.
  • Campaign opt-ins.

What’s best for the visitor?

Scratch that… what is REALLY best for you?

This is your member marketing funnel right in front of you.

What value can give to non-members and how can you make them feel part of the tribe?

Then LOAD VALUE into your memberships.


'An Absolute Must-Do'; the Book.

A concise framework to build a tourism business that people love, pay more for, and rave about.