Going Beyond The Restaurant Week: DMO Promotions

September 22, 2014

It seems that the DMO restaurant week promotion has been around since the Jurassic age. The first was developed by NYC & Company in January 1992, increasing business for New York City restaurants during this slow winter month. Since then the concept of a DMO restaurant week has grown in popularity throughout the United States, and beyond, as a means to profile a destination’s dining experiences and boost spending. Many “weeks” have expanded to multiweek and multimonth programs, such as January’s California Restaurant Month, the two-week Chicago Restaurant Week and the annual multi-week Miami Spice.

However, these types of DMO promotions that offer value-orientated deals to increase business during periods of low occupancy  do not have to be limited to restaurant experiences. Here are some examples of other DMO-lead or supported  price-point promotions that highlight other destination experiences, from the performing arts and family-friendly activities to museums and wellness:

Carlsbad, California’s Women’s Wellness Weekends
May, annually


Since the city was established around its mineral springs in 1882, this SoCal beach destination has a long history of offering wellness experiences. Since 2013, Visit Carlsbad has partnered with its resort and hotel properties pairing overnight stays with the best in spa and wellness services.

Denver Arts Week

Nov. 7-15 2014


The diverse arts scene of the Mile High City is feted each November through this promotion. Developed by Visit Denver, the promotion includes a “one free night” at the destination’s leading museums, an art focused “First Friday” event that highlights Denver’s most creative neighborhoods, a celebration of performing arts in the “Denver’s On Stage” series, a family-friendly program and artsy ‘Hidden Gems’ tours. Special deals at cultural institutions are also offered throughout the week.

Greater Seattle’s Museum Week Northwest
May 16 – 23, 2014

The Pacific Northwest’s first Museum Week kicked of this past May, highlighting the Greater Seattle area’s diverse range of museums and cultural institutions. Many of the participating cultural entities offered a ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ deal on admission. Visit Seattle is the primary sponsor.

Malta Music Week

Each June

The Malta Tourism Authority leads this promotion, highlighting the Mediterranean island’s dance music scene. Since 1997, Music Week has attracted some of the world’s hottest DJs to spin at bars, parties, nightclubs and lounges. This year, MTV Europe brought its “Isle of MTV” summer event to the program.

Missoula , Montana Craft Beer Week
Late April/Early May

Missoula Craft Beer Week offers visitors and locals alike a collection of events celebrating craft beer in the Garden City of Montana. Within the city’s limits, four of Montana’s 40 breweries can be found with more just a short drive away making Missoula ideal for craft beer exploration. The Missoula Downtown Association is a major sponsor of this weeklong celebration.

New York City Broadway Week

Sept. 1-14, 2014


Two-for-one tickets are available at some of New York City’s hottest Broadway shows at this NYC & Company produced promotion. This year’s promotion had tickets available for Aladdin, Cabaret, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots and Once. Tickets sell out quick and some blackout dates apply.

With five one-hour modules, Jamaica’s “One Love” program hits the sweet spot.

San Antonio’s Kidcation Week: The Last Big Bash of the Summer
Aug. 8 – 17, 2014

The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau uses its “Kidcation Week” to stimulate family travel in August before the school term begins. Promotion offers are created at hotels, restaurants and attractions, as well as special summertime events designed to cater to families.

What other examples of DMO lead or supported weeklong promotions are there? Leave a comment and let me know!


Written by Malcolm Griffiths

Malcolm is Vice President in Development Counsellors International’s Tourism Practice. Since joining DCI from Tourism Australia in 2003, he has developed creative marketing and public relations campaigns to communicate travel experiences for destinations spanning the globe, from California to Sweden, Miami to Tasmania.

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