Rural destination management organizations (DMOs) are faced with considerable challenges as they attempt to promote economic prosperity through tourism. This study sought to identify rural destination management challenges in Tucker County, West Virginia; identify the roles and activities of the destinations DMOs in addressing these challenges; and develop a perceived destination management framework. DMO challenges include maintaining authenticity and sense of place; economic diversification; seasonality, low wage jobs, and lack of employees; connecting resorts to small businesses and communities; and establishing a common vision, identity, and coordination of activities. While the majority of tourism literature calls for DMOs to play a dual marketing and management role, this paper makes an important contribution by identifying the need for a Convention and Visitors Bureau and a separate organization with a specific mission to sustainably develop and manage tourism and coordinate activities of the stakeholder network.
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