More about SGDM

Why this new approach was needed and an overview of industry and academic publications for those who want to know more.



Why a new model for destination management?

Many tourist service providers and other destination actors struggle to keep up with the full scope and complexity of their markets. They exhibit very limited degrees of market orientation. In consequence, products and services fail to meet travel motives of tourists; the actual behavior of visitors is not reflected in strategic initiatives and marketing plans.

The St. Gallen Model for Destination Management (SGDM) addresses those challenges and offers a new approach for more and consistent market orientation. We build on practical experience in more than 30 destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia as well as the latest insights from research on destination management and marketing.

Understanding tourist demand is at the core of the SGDM. Strategic visitor flows (SVF) are the basic unit of analysis and planning of the new approach. Those flows capture present and future tourists’ variable behavior and motives in destinations. The depiction of flows in space enables decision-makers to understand and develop tourist demand in all its versatility and richness. In addition, it enables them to break free of existing preconceptions (e.g., where the destination ends and what it is about). The SGDM helps identifying key influencers in markets (demand networks) as well as service production (supply networks).  Thus, the SGDM enables actors to establish a sound basis to increase destination competitiveness – in coordination and yet with focus.

The model accounts for three important contingencies:

  1.     destinations are difficult to delimit from the visitors’ point of view;
  2.     destination actors and organizations are not necessarily following a single, consistent vision and strategy; and
  3.     suppliers cannot directly shape «the market».

Familiarize yourself with SGDM

Book (Hardcover, Kindle E-Book) - Professional and academic audience

ISBN - 978-3-9523471-9-5 ¦ Available on Amazon as digital download or at IMP-HSG as Hardcover.

«The St. Gallen Model for Destination Management»

This book illustrates how the boundaries created to manage and market tourist destinations are the root of the practical and academic problems that trouble destination management these days. The St. Gallen Model for Destination Management (SGDM) introduces an alternative perspective that allows transcending past boundaries and thus getting closer to the real complexities of managing tourist behavior in dynamic systems.

While this may sound daunting, it starts with something very practical: The observation of how tourists of different kinds move about as flows of visitors. Strategic visitor flows (SVF) are the basic unit of analysis and planning of the new model. The SGDM connects these flows to demand and supply networks. Underlying mechanisms explain the social forces that drive tourists’ behavior and the interdependencies that determine a viable supply of tourist services in destinations.

The model builds on practical experience in more than 30 destinations and the latest insights from ongoing research on destination management and marketing. Internationally, we observed that a basic understanding of the presence of multiple visitor flows and of the related network mechanism enabled actors (e.g., from hotels, food and lodging, operators of attractions, transportation, tourist organizations, and politicians) to break free of existing preconceptions. The SGDM and its instruments enabled them to rethink tasks, responsibilities, and projects. This ultimately allowed them to make more efficient and effective use of their scarce resources, benefiting both visitors and destination actors.

Industry publications

  • Tourism Review (07/2017). Swarm intelligence and the current tourism market. Published online Jul 03, 2017.
  • Beritelli, P., Crescini, G., Reinhold, S., & Schanderl, V. (in press). The visitor flow approach: How flow-based destination management blends theory and method for practical impact.

More industry publications in other languages are available here.

Academic publications

    • Beritelli, P., & Reinhold, S. (2018). Chance meetings, the destination paradox, and the social origins of travel – Predicting traveler’s whereabouts. Tourist Studies, online first.
    • Beritelli, P., Reinhold, S., & Luo, J. How come...? – Contextual validity of travel decisions. (in press). Journal of Travel Research, accepted for publication as letter to the editor, online first.
    • Reinhold, S., Laesser, C., & Beritelli, P. (in press). The 2016 Consensus on Advances in Destination Management. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, online first.
    • Baggio, R., & Scaglione, M. (2017). Strategic Visitor Flows (SVF) analysis using mobile data. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2017 (pp. 145-157). Springer, Cham.
    • Beritelli, P., & Laesser, C. (2017). The Dynamics of Destinations and Tourism Development. In D. R. Fesenmaier & Z. Xiang (Eds.), Design Science in Tourism: Foundations of Destination Management (pp. 195-214). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
    • Beritelli, P., Buffa, F., & Martini, U. (2015). The coordinating DMO or coordinators in the DMO? – an alternative perspective with the help of network analysis. Tourism Review, 70(1), 24-42.
    • Reinhold, S., Laesser, C., & Beritelli, P. (2015). 2014 St. Gallen Consensus on destination management. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 4(2), 137-142.
    • Beritelli, P., Bieger, T., & Laesser, C. (2014). The New Frontiers of Destination Management Applying Variable Geometry as a Function-Based Approach. Journal of Travel Research, 53(4), 403-417.
    • Laesser, C., & Beritelli, P. (2013). St. Gallen Consensus on Destination Management. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 2(1), 46-49.

    More academic publications in other languages are available here.

    Get in touch

    Prof. Dr.
    Pietro Beritelli

    pietro.beritelli@unisg.ch
    +41 (0)71-224-2525

    Professional profile

    Dr.
    Stephan Reinhold

    stephan.reinhold@unisg.ch
    +41 (0)71-224-2525

    Professional profile

    Prof. Dr.
    Christian Laesser

    christian.laesser@unisg.ch
    +41 (0)71-224-2525

    Professional profile