Tourist destination (TD) is considered the most important unit of analysis in tourism industry and the amalgam of tourism products, which offers an integrated travel experience for the customer. In this paper is analyzed the role of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), the
key player in the tourism stakeholders systems which manage collaborative marketing strategies. Particularly, are recognized the destination branding strategies defined by DMOs, one of the most important organizational solution to manage internal and external relationships in tourism stakeholders systems. The theoretical assumptions of the paper are supported by an empirical research which analyzes, comparatively, the Italian DMOs of eight regional contexts. The goals of the empirical survey have been the following: a. to identify the main tourism players of regional stakeholders systems, deepening the nature and the intensity of marketing relationships in these networks; b. to define the main characteristics of the regional DMOs in Italy, in terms of business models and collective marketing strategies planned in the own networks; c. to categorize the destination branding strategies defined by DMOs in regional tourism stakeholders systems, valuating the main brand decisions carried out in these contexts.
Keywords: Destination marketing, collective marketing strategies, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), destination branding, tourism stakeholders systems, Italian regional DMOs