UKRI Economic and Social Research Council logo

DMOcracy: inclusive, dynamic and empowering destination governance

Start date

March 2022

End date

December 2022


This project plans to provide research knowledge for a new impact initiative that explores and develops methods and models for public engagement and participatory governing of tourism destinations.

This initiative will co-create methods to involve and empower local communities, citizens and stakeholders broadly in governing sustainable tourism and destination development. Experience in conducting social impact assessments of tourism will be utilised to engage with tourism changemakers to shape and inspire the future role and relevance of Destination Management and Marketing Organisations (DMO)s. Complexity theory will be used to interpret the challenges and imperatives of power-sharing and new modes of governance.  



Expected outputs are:

  • Toolkit
  • Best practice report on citizens’ participation in tourism development
  • List of easy and low budget indicators related to democratic governance
  • A first measurement of democratic governance indicators 
  • White Paper on how to advance participatory governance in destinations

One journal article on citizen-centred participatory process in tourism governance/policymaking

Op-ed piece on the appropriateness of tourism social impact research in the context of policymaking

Expected long-term outcomes/impacts:

  • Increased impact on social indicators and citizen involvement in tourism policymaking 
  • Possible use of playbook and best practice report for classroom activities, consultation projects and research methodologies
  • Continuous monitoring of democratic governance of the destination, through the longitudinal analysis of the related indicators.


Impact Acceleration Account awarded projects

Our projects are all playing their part in turning social science research outcomes into meaningful impact that will touch our lives and communities. 

View all IAA projects