Visit South Walton receives industry accreditation

Special to The Sun
Jack Wert, Jim Bagby and Valencia Bembry at award presentation.

Visit South Walton (VSW) was awarded with the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), in recognition of the destination marketing organization's (DMO) commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of DMOs around the world.

VSW’s reaccreditation is among only 208 DMOs worldwide who have obtained DMAP recognition that demonstrate compliance across 16 disciplines, composed of 53 mandatory standards and is globally recognized by the destination marketing industry as the highest level of achievement in destination excellence. VSW has been an accredited member of DMAP since its inception in 2007.

“I am very proud of the hard work the staff of Visit South Walton has accomplished in order to renew our accreditation,” said Jim Bagby, executive director of VSW. “Our staff is a combination of experts in their fields and work extremely hard to showcase the rarity of our great destination. The DMAI accreditation reinforces our hard work and dedication to the destination and growing South Walton economy.”

The accreditation program requires a DMO to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas to gain this significant achievement. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of a DMO's including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research.

“DMAP accreditation requires DMOs like Visit South Walton to truly evaluate and define not only their policies and procedures, but also determine their guiding principles and solidify their importance to their communities in all they do,” said Jack Wert, DMAP board chair.

“We are pleased to have Visit South Walton among our distinguished group. I look forward to their participation and influence as a part of the growing DMAP community,” added Valencia Bembry, senior vice president of Accreditation and Strategic Initiatives at DMAI.