The Gold Standard is much more than a means for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to become comprehensive travel information agencies which place the visitor assets of an entire city, county, state or nation at the fingertips of the public. It also packages a strategic combination of foundation marketing practices that, in an ideal world, would already be in place before the first dollar is invested in advertising or sales. Thus, the Gold Standard allows these additional benefits to be realized:
New destination marketing agencies, or major market DMOs with extensive visitor assets, may need to devote three to five years of sustained effort to achieve Gold Standard status. Mature DMOs in smaller markets, especially those with a leisure travel emphasis, may attain the gold standard much faster. Although most DMOs fulfill several Gold Standard tenants, there is not yet one DMO in the world today that reflects them all. (See the entire list of prioritized Gold Standard elements here.)
To learn how close your DMO comes to meeting Gold Standard protocol, a "Gold Standard Self Assessment for DMOs" can be downloaded here. Based on a scale of 1-100, users can rate each attribute and determine a score for the DMO being reviewed.