Destination Management Company is an innovative solution that provides advantages for travel agencies. This is because when it comes to traveling, we look for the most practical solutions, which reduce eventual problems and bring more ease. The search for more efficiency and effectiveness is favorable in all sectors of our lives, especially in tourism, where the goal is entertainment and satisfaction.
What is Destination Management Company and what is it for?
Destination Management Company(DMC) (Destination Management Company), a company that provides tourism services for leisure (individual, group) and for corporate, convention and incentive travel. Another name is Destination Management Organization (DMO) or Destination Management Organization, in Portuguese.
The Destination Management Organization brings together the totality of services needed to meet the demands of the traveler.
- A professional guide waiting for the customer at the arrival gate;
- Means of transport at the destination.
- Integral organization of a convention
- Logistical processes, and so on.
This way, the DMC takes on the responsibility of organizing different processes (schedules, negotiations), concentrating them in only one place, thus freeing the travel agency from this work.
What are the advantages of hiring a DMC?
Among the advantages of a DMC, we can highlight the performance of qualified professionals who know the destination very well.
More knowledge and economy of resources and time
By contracting the services of a DMC, it is possible to save money and time and also learn relevant events about the region from professionals specialized in the destination, which will generate value for the next sale, for the next customer. The travel agent ends up acquiring more knowledge.
The destination management partner has insight into the experiences customers are looking for. He also knows how to provide those experiences. When it comes to creating custom products or itineraries, he knows what will make customers happy.
It's a very valid insight, especially for anyone wanting to launch an innovative travel product or enter a new market.
Many DMCs also allow the travel agency to showcase its own branding during customer experiences. Thus, it can place the logo on bus or river trips, on expeditions, on safaris.
The travel agency needs to sell the travel experience. For this, she must collect a lot of marketing material such as testimonials, videos, photos and other data.
The DMC already has marketing materials ready - materials that are effective, since they have been used for decades to generate interest in the businesses it runs.
A wide range of marketing assets can be accessed by a simple phone call, which will save the agency the time and money that would be required to obtain them on its own, without the mediation of a Destination Management Company.
To finish this topic that talks about the advantages of hiring a DMO, let's make a summary highlighting some of the main points:
- the travel agent is informed about the best activities as well as the most important hotels and restaurants in the destination region because the Destination Management Company has great knowledge on the subject;
- specialized professionals know the suppliers well, they know which are the best, the positive and negative aspects of each one;
- their great experience in the event they are organizing allows them to provide good guidance so that the results are the best (the local DMC operator is always up to date on the area's infrastructure and services);
- the agency's job is made easier because it only needs to talk to one person, who will work with the suppliers and manage the relationship with them.
What are the differences between DMC and other tour service providers?
The DMC's closer relationship with suppliers guarantees more competitive prices. Even if it were possible to obtain lower prices, without the Destination Management Company, extra hours would be required for the professionals to manage everything, at a cost to the operator/agency.
This involves processes such as: boarding in Brazil until the return, the step by step itinerary and services, phone calls with suppliers in other countries, ticket purchases. All involve additional expenses, since the agency/operator does not have the same amount of purchases as the DMC - therefore, it will not get the same values nor work with the same agility.
The DMC can do surprises on the same level that the agency/operator does, like sending a souvenir for a VIP customer's birthday, or offering a food of their choice. But this is only possible if the two parties are in sync, i.e. if the DMO and the agency/operator have a good interaction.
All operators and travel agencies can partner with a DMC, but it will involve some kind of financial guarantee, which can vary in value - everything must follow what has been recorded in pre-agreements and predefined rules.
Most of the time, it is necessary to present security deposits, which, when they reach a certain amount, require another.
The agency/operator will thus begin a consistent partner relationship, as well as a credit relationship with the Destination Management Company.
How important is it to choose a local DMC well?
In the travel sector, there is sometimes a lack of integration between the destination region and the provider. Of course, the person can go online, booking the services they want at the destination, especially if the destination is outside the country.
However, there won't be an adequate notion of what the experience will be like, what the most common risks are, and what local aspects might interfere with the results. The local DMC is specialized in the region or country where it operates, which is not the case with travel agencies or tour operators. Consider, for example, that a person from Brazil will travel to the UK.
The local Destination Management Company professional knows the UK well. In this way, he adds knowledge and services for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A lot of information, even if researched in Brazil, is better known by those who live there.
How the DMC can help the partner agency and its clients
The DMC partners offer the travel agency the same level of expertise of the services that they perform in the local region. They can indicate the best river or sea crossings, the most interesting sights, and many other tips that will make the trip more enjoyable.
The professionals have been offering these services for many years, whether it's cruises, or bus or boat tours; or even something much simpler but convenient, like flight transfers. Thus, the local DMC team helps in unlocking good quality local experiences, which is more difficult for tour operators and travel agencies.
The assigned team can inform you of the most suitable times to visit, what are the main experiences to enjoy at the destination, how it is possible to guarantee a trip with comfort and safety.
The local DMC understands cultural norms and trends, knows when prices are rising or when unnecessary extras are being added to the bill. With this assistance it will also be possible to make last minute adjustments, reacting to changes in traveler demands.
We cannot fail to mention an aspect of the utmost relevance. The professionals who work at the destination are prepared, for the most part, for rescue services and other emergencies, that is, in the face of unforeseen situations involving, for example, accidents or illnesses, the client will have the necessary assistance.
In short, an on-site professional knows how and where to find the best entertainment, the best culinary dishes, the most competent staff, and the most efficient travel routes.
A local DMC professional may fall into one or more of the following categories:
- program design: selection and reservation of the place, organization of the activities of the event, decoration of the event;
- supplier management: preparation of an event schedule, transportation reservation, organization of arrivals, departure of guests;
- supplier management: supplier selection and negotiation of values with suppliers;
- accounting: auditing and payment of supplier invoices, financial transactions, detailed accountability to the customer.
How important is the DMC for business travel?
The DMC conducts the process of choosing venues for events and meetings, as well as hotels with the most appropriate profile. It also helps format tours and good experiences.
It is worth remembering that the success of a business trip (events, meetings, incentives) is directly related to the quality of the information provided at the time of the budget, the potential for adapting expectations, the possibility of sustaining constructive communication between partners and, also, the correct implementation of all services.
The Destination Management Company relates to the hospitality services in the destination region, but the most relevant service is the organization and planning of the corporate event, which can be a conference or meeting, a gala dinner, a corporate incentive trip.
The local DMC operates as a standout contact before and during event planning. Often, the Destination Management Company is able to drive lower prices from its high potential to negotiate rates with local suppliers and vendors.
In destinations where another language is spoken, mainly English (the most spoken language in the world), professionals can contribute to overcoming language barriers.
We emphasize that, if the client goes to a convention or an international incentive trip, it is recommended to book an inspection trip to learn about all the proposals, the accommodation and transport infrastructure, the indicated tours and other things.
The trip will be booked only after all details are sent to the local DMC operator in the other country to schedule the site inspection.
How to maintain a good relationship with the DMC
It is essential to develop a good communication system with the Destination Management Company. It is worth remembering that the management company may find itself in a territory with a different time zone, with different working days and holidays. Due to the difference in time zones, some responses may be delayed.
In general, an experienced DMC operates with a low quantity of suppliers at their destination, since they prioritize handing over their projects to people who really understand their way of working and the technical requirements they demand.
The Destination Management Company usually structures the budget based on the briefing that the agency sends and respecting the characteristics of the destination region.
It is advisable to give the company a period of time to analyze the briefing and structure the itinerary and logistical processes. To prepare the script, the company will consult and collect images and other data that will make the proposal more interesting.
Bid and Budget
When the agency receives the budget, it must confirm receipt and provide feedback with its impressions and comments. The DMC needs to know if it is really on the right track, following the indications of the briefing, or if it needs to make some adjustments.
It is important to pay attention to all the relevant information described in the proposal, especially the conditions regarding the validity of the proposal and prices, dates for signing the contract, payment for services, sending technical details, rooming lists.
When reviewing the proposal, be aware that accommodation and transportation expenses typically vary little between Destination Management Organizations. This little variation is due to the fact that, most of the time, they are tabulated services.
Contact with DMC
The travel agency must keep the DMC informed about the progress of the proposal that will be made to the client, estimating deadlines for the decision or informing how many stages must be fulfilled.
It is worth having a meeting with the DMC to reinforce the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) of both parties. The meeting can take place via Skype or other meeting application, using a camera.
If it is not necessary to hold a meeting, contact can be maintained via emails, phone calls or even WhatsApp communication.
In the final stages of the budget process, it is convenient to objectively define dates for carrying out the technical visit at the target location with the DMO.
As you have seen, counting on the services of a Destination Management Company can become a great differentiator for your travel agency. You will save resources and offer better quality services to your clients.
What are you waiting for to innovate and grow? Transform your tourism and business trips into unique and unforgettable customer experiences with our help. Contact us and find out what we offer, learn more about our work!