Destination Management Plans (DMPs)

The Icelandic Government has recognised the importance of destination management and planning for the future sustainable development of tourism. Initially, the Icelandic Tourist Board (ITB), along with the Tourism Task Force, launched the development of Destination Management Plans (DMPs) in early 2015.

This holistic approach takes into account the planning and coordination of development and management of tourist flows in each region and strengthens the local tourism support frameworks. DMPs are joint policy statements intended to; steer growth and development of areas over a certain period of time; define stakeholders‘ roles; specify certain actions that each stakeholder is responsible for and resources are required to carry out their responsibilities.

Further advancement took place, in early 2021, when on behalf of the Government, the ITB  and the regional authorities committed to operating a special Destination Management and Marketing Offices (DMMO) in each region of Iceland.

Destination Management Planning is an on-going process. The DMMOs carry out the development of the DMPs, with ITB overseeing the project. DMP’s for all regions (Reykjanes, Capital Area, Vesturland, Vestfirðir, Norðurland, Austurland and Suðurland) were approved by the Local Authorities except the for the capital area. The regions are currently in the process of finalizing their second round of DMPs, where the previously well-developed existing DMP are being updated, taking into account the fast evolving industry, identifying areas where greater collaboration is required for each region.

So far, the DMPs have not only assisted regions in identifying their geographical attributes and key target markets, but it has ultimately led to increased collaboration with the local government planning authorities, e.g. traffic management, construction planning, tourism education and so forth. Effective DMPs is also a key requirement for accessing future investment. Not only for the private industries but this also assures the government that their investment is being used appropriately on projects that are well researched and for which there is an agreed need.

More stakeholders are engaging in the DMPs as the benefits become more visible. The DMPs aims to encourage the tourism industry, government and community to work closely together in a strong collaborative way to plan for the future as well as to manage the present.