A Destination Management Company (DMC) is specialised in the implementation and the processing of events related to the MICE sector (Meetings, Incentives, Congresses, Exhibitions). The company designs for example meeting sessions, conferences or incentive trips often including multiple activities and tours. Moreover, a DMC coordinates a project with a wide network of providers and expertise in one or more destinations.
Embarking on a new DM planning process can be a lengthy exercise requiring a reasonable degree of commitment and resourcing. Stakeholders need to be clear about what they want to achieve and be mindful of the resources, capability and capacity available to develop and implement the plan. Small steps can be taken and built on over time as capacity and resources become available.
Many aspects of DM could already be captured in existing plans. Some destinations may want to take a light touch approach, coordinating components of existing plans and identifying gaps and new areas to focus on. Other destinations may choose to embark on a full DM planning process. Whether you choose a light touch or detailed approach, be clear about why you are developing a plan, who needs to be involved with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and how the plan will be implemented (and funded).
To help you understand a little more about incentive programs and how DMCs work, GT DMC Brazil answered the five most frequently asked questions in the area.
What do you mean by destination management?
Before we define destination management, we have to define a destination. A destination can be anything, including a country, region, province, district, city, park, museum, neighborhood, etc. Destination management is a comprehensive process that includes the management of different aspects of the destination.
Destination management defines a process that involves coordinated actions aimed to control the economic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of a specific tourism territory. Destination management can include anything of the following:
- Local resources
- Events & activities
- Environmental concerns
- Marketing efforts
- Tourist attractions
DMCs also include local businesses and leverage local knowledge to help create immersive experiences and attract even more travelers to visit the destination. It should be carried out by local authorities and other tourism stakeholders in partnership, following principles of good governance. It is central to the delivery of sustainable tourism as it allows a territorial approach to the multi-sector, multi-stakeholder, multi-thematic matrix of challenges and opportunities facing tourism development. It is also central to sustainable tourism implementation as actions taken within destinations at local and regional level are best able to influence the tourism impacts.
What is the role of a destination management company (DMC)?
The DMCs, or Destination Management Companies, are the critical link connecting travelers and service providers. They are specialists in local knowledge, from regional language to the best tourist opportunities to the most authentic dining places. Very objectively, a DMC is a company that provides tourism services for both leisure (individual or groups), but mostly focused on incentive and convention trips. These agencies aggregates all the services necessary to meet travel business need. From a professional guide waiting for your team at airport arrivals, to take them to a transfer, to complete organization of a convention and all the logistics involved, among many other things.
So, the DMC is the dream of every operator or travel agency, as it takes all the task of organizing such processes (negotiations, schedules, etc.) and concentrates them in a single place. Then you ask: what is the difference between this type of company and a travel agency? Easy: a DMC is deeply specialized in the country or region where it operates. Talking about Brazil, for example, GT DMC Brazil is a true expert and will be able to add knowledge and services for every corner of such huge and diversified country.
Bonus: what's the difference between a DMC and a DMO?
DMCs provide their services to the customer for a fee. According to ADME , the Association of Destination Management Executives, a DMC is a "professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics."
You may choose to engage the services of a DMC after you have confirmed the hotel and facilities in a specific destination to "manage" the destination for you. Planners may have a multi-year contract with a large destination management company to organize events and provide transportation regardless of the chosen destination, similar to how they contract with audio-visual providers and decorators.
While the overall objectives for a DMO is:
- Educating travelers about the destination's attractions and offerings
- Marketing through targeted campaigns
- Working with other organizations on issues related to sustainability to achieve common goals
- Addressing resident concerns related to tourism
Both organizations, however, have the same intention: to highlight the best of the destination and deliver an experience that leads to repeat business.
Why is destination management planning important?
In general, destination management companies are most commonly founded by specialists in tourism with great experience and relationships in their city and country, going far beyond the traditional receptive agencies, which normally limit themselves to operating transfers and city-tours, with little specialization or customization possibilities.
DMC works all the time to make tourist travel experiences viable and highly impactful (for work, business, conventions, incentives, etc.), organizing a complex network of knowledge and suppliers. A great DMC knows restaurants, spaces for events, unusual places for visits and shows, companies that set up stages and sound, bands and even massage therapists, doctors and lawyers who can make themselves available whenever necessary.
A great DMC is always prepared for a sudden downpour, a delayed flight, a blocked road or untimely cold weather. Guides have to go through daily tweaks and feedback until they hit the sweet spot between friendliness and efficiency; baggage handling, restaurant operations and cultural and sports activities are thoroughly reviewed to ensure their success. In the end, DMC must deliver the group to the airport for the return flight, seeing broad smiles of satisfaction and great expectations for the next trip on all the faces of the participants (including their contractors). When this happens, we can say that the trip was a success and that the DMC fully fulfilled its role.
What are the key components of Destination Management?
DM brings together different stakeholders to achieve the common goal of developing a well-managed, sustainable visitor destination. It is an ongoing process that requires destinations to plan for the future and considers the social, economic, cultural and environmental risks and opportunities. There are 16 main components in a Destination Management plan:
- Define the destination
- Define the vision
- Data, research and analysis
- Strategic fit
- Brand positioning
- Target markets
- Experience and product development (attractions)
- Marketing and promotion (awareness)
- Amenities, services and infrastructure
- Environmental stewardship
- Capability and development
- Leadership and structures
- Risk and crisis management
- Measuring success
What are the benefits of working with GT DMC
Like your expertise in your industry, a trip pro spends their days completely immersed in every aspect of the incentive travel industry. GT DMC Brazil is a 100% Brazilian company and we know the travel business inside out. Our mission is simple: make your job easier and make you look great. We offer valuable expertise and management services that save you time and money:
- Destination expertise - from five-star resorts on pristine, white-sand beaches, to grand lodges on the beautiful Brazilian mountains, we know the country thoroughly. We also know the best suppliers, whom to work with and the strong and weak points of every place in the country. You will not be working blind.
- Full experience - with the most popular tour models (nature and ecotourism, paradise beaches, cultural and social, adventure, couples and spa, gastronomy and wine tourism) and the latest innovations in Brazil's tourism at our fingertips.
- End-to-End management - of hotels, transportation, events, activities, participant support and communications by CMPs (Certified Meeting Professionals) who do this all year long; we are faster, save you money and reduce risks.
- Budget management - to make every penny count and keep your accounting department happy with full financial reconciliations.
- Make your work a lot easier - deal with only one project manager who will contact suppliers and coordinate everything with them.
GT DMC Brazil is a reference in the Brazilian hospitality and our team of experts can offer tailor made reception and logistics services, in an uncomplicated way and with the best rates in the market. Get to know our complete portfolio and the multiple possibilities of Brazil that we can offer to all types of incentive groups. Access www.gotogetherdmc.com.br.