The internet is playing an increasingly important role in destination marketing. To explore the current situation of online marketing in major destinations, this study compared destination marketing organisation (DMO) websites in the USA and China. By applying a modified balanced scorecard approach, website marketing strategies, web page designs, marketing information and technical qualities were evaluated. The main purpose was to determine similarities and differences among the official DMO websites in the USA and China. Four tiers of DMO websites were evaluated: state tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) in the USA, and provincial and city tourism administrations in China. US DMO websites were found to be superior to those in China in terms of marketing strategies and information, and US CVB sites received the highest evaluations.
Based on the evaluation results, recommendations were made on how DMOs can improve their websites to develop them into more effective destination marketing tools.