Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM)

Are you working on digital marketing in the hotel industry? Looking for an edge to set you apart from your peers? Prove your skills and experience by earning a globally-recognized certification administered by HSMAI.

Created by hoteliers for hoteliers, the CHDM recognizes digital marketing professionals for their expertise in leveraging digital channels to maximize online revenues. CHDMs are the digital marketing experts hotels need today.

This is the certification for hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals who want to:

  • demonstrate their proficiency globally
  • expand their current role or move into a digital role
  • upskill and become more proficient
  • better understand how digital marketing intersects with and impacts their areas of responsibility

Today’s CHDMs carry many titles including:

  • Director of eCommerce
  • Director of Sales & Marketing
  • Director of Revenue Management
  • Corporate & regional hotel marketer
  • Agency employees who want to upskill on the digital field in hospitality
  • General Manager
  • Asset Manager
  • Owner

“When I review resumes for openings or am interviewing candidates with similar backgrounds, I feel more confident in choosing applicants with their CHDM certification. I feel like they have taken the time to understand the fundamentals of the industry and how it applies to our hotels, and thus will hit the ground running with a leg up on other candidates.”

– Jay Hubbs, SVP E-Commerce, Remington Hotels

1. Complete and submit the application: PDF | Writable PDF

Associates and Franchisees from Best Western Hotels & Resorts and from Marriott International, please email ktindell@hsmai.org for a company-specific application.

2. Once your application is approved, you will receive a digital copy of Hospitality Digital Marketing Essentials: A Field Guide for Navigating Today’s Digital Landscape, the study guide for the CHDM certification.

3. When you are ready, take the 50-question, multiple-choice exam online at any time, 24/7. You’ll have 60 minutes to answer all 50 questions.

4. Pass the exam and take a well-deserved bow!

5. Recertify every two years to keep your certification valid (you do NOT have to take another exam, just confirm that you are still working in the digital marketing field, and continue to stay current with it as it evolves).

The registration fee includes application processing, the CHDM Study Guide, and the exam.

HSMAI Member Non-Members
Registration Fee $550 $725
Re-examination Fee $45 $45
Recertification Fee (every 2 years) $150 $200

Inquire about volume discounts through Kathy Tindell at 703-506-2010 or ktindell@hsmai.org.

The face-to-face CHDM Review Course is for candidates pursuing the Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM) certification. The course covers the key concepts outlined in the certification study guide, and is a great last “cram session” before taking the certification exam.

Review course participants are required to read the study guide in advance of this fast-paced class. A digital copy of the study guide is included in the course registration fee.

Participants, who have applied for the certification in advance, will have the opportunity to take the CHDM exam onsite immediately following the review course. You must provide your own laptop in order to take the exam onsite.

The next CHDM Review Course precedes the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference and will be in New York City, New York, USA on January 22, 2019:

  • 12:30 am – 4:30 pm: Review Course
  • 4:30 – 5:30: Optional opportunity to take the exam onsite

Hospitality Digital Marketing Essentials: A Field Guide for Navigating Today’s Digital Landscape, the study guide for the CHDM certification, is organized into six sections:

  1. Owned Media
  2. Earned Media
  3. Paid Media
  4. Digital Intermediaries
  5. Trending Topics
  6. Measuring & Managing Digital Performance

Topics covered include:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Analytics & Attribution Modeling
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Content & Merchandising
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Email Marketing
  • Group Intermediaries
  • Location-Based Marketing
  • Loyalty & Recognition
  • Metasearch
  • Mobile Websites & Marketing
  • Online Travel Agencies & OTA Paid Media
  • Paid Search
  • Programmatic Display Media
  • Reviews & Reputation Management
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media
  • The Hotel Website
  • Vendor Management
  • Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, & 360 Views
  • Voice Search & Chatbots
  • Website Analytics
  • And more! See the table of contents and introduction for more details.

What exactly is required to get this certification?
You apply and if accepted, you receive the newly updated study guide book, Hospitality Digital Marketing Essentials: A Field Guide for Navigating Today’s Digital Landscape. After reviewing the study guide, you take the CHDM exam (online) as soon as you’re ready. The exam is timed and will take 60 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. As long as you receive a passing grade of 70% or above, you will be
awarded the CHDM credentials.

How much does it cost?
$550 USD for HSMAI members and $725 USD for non-members.

I am not in digital marketing (in sales or revenue management for example). Should I take the CHDM?
Today everyone touches digital marketing. If you are in sales, you should understand how to help your marketing team drive better leads to you. If you are in revenue management, understanding advertising and analytics will help you make better pricing decisions. No position within a hotel exists in a vacuum anymore. The better you understand the bigger picture, the more valuable your contribution will be.

What roles or positions do people have who get their CHDM?
eCommerce managers and directors, revenue managers, directors of sales, VPs of client strategy, vendors in the digital space for hotels, general managers, and corporate DOS/revenue directors are a few of the titles of current CHDMs. It’s a smart group to join.

What kind of material does this certification cover?
The study guide is organized into five primary areas of digital marketing
1. Owned Media — the assets you own and control to market your hotel
2. Earned Media — the likes, shares, mentions, and reviews that impact traffic or impressions of your hotel
3. Paid Media — what you pay for to get people to come to your site
4. Digital Intermediaries — the ever-evolving landscape of third parties in the travel sector
5. Trending Issues & Developments — the latest and greatest

The certification covers what hoteliers need to know to make great decisions. What are the must haves for your property website — vanity or branded? How should you measure email marketing or PR? What do you need to know about online advertising or working wisely with the OTAs? What is currently the best attribution model and what might the future look like in that world? These are a few of the topics covered in the guide.

Everything changes so fast in this area, how do I know the content is relevant?
HSMAI has always been committed to regular updates of this guide. Launched in 2013, the current CHDM study guide is now in its 4th Edition (it’s been updated about every 18 months). Everyone who achieves the CHDM gets ongoing access to the most recent study materials online. If you sign up for it once, you can be sure that if you need to review it in a year, you can — and you will be reviewing what is new and what has changed, not outdated materials that are no longer relevant. As long as you recertify every two years (the member fee is $150 USD, non-member fee is $200 USD for recertification) you will always have access to the most updated information.

What other benefits are there to becoming a CHDM?
By having the CHDM initials behind your name, you are communicating to your current — or potentially future — employers that you are committed to advancing your knowledge in the hotel industry. Your ideas and suggestions will be taken seriously. It will help to set you apart.


Contact Kathleen Tindell | ktindell@hsmai.org | 703-506-2010