What is a Destination Management Company?

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World of DMCs member, Cuba For Travel, summed up what every destination management company (DMC) wishes clients understood: 

 “We take care of all local organisation so group organisers can focus on their client

There is a general lack of understanding, even in the travel trade, about the value a professional DMC brings to any group or incentive trip, event, or activity, and what they actually do.  Clients often assume that their selected local agent is capable of handling everything for them worldwide, and question the expenses related to an in-destination DMC.  

Let’s get one thing straight:  World of DMCs members do not simply arrange transfers or book restaurants.  Nor are they focused on FITs.  World of DMCs members specialise in group and incentive travel, and ideally work with clients, or client-agents, to ensure delivery of an event or trip from the very beginning to the absolute end.

A DMC is your eyes, ears, and project manager on the ground.  In the destination.  They are fundamental to the success of your group or incentive trip, or event.

DMCs leverage their extensive portfolio of skills, resources, and supplier relationships to help craft an event, trip or specific programme for their clients from the moment the idea is hatched to the final conclusion, when everyone has safely returned home again.  

All World of DMCs members are based in their destination of operation, thoroughly knowledgeable about that destination and have the skills to work with the home-based team to conceptualise and develop the event or travel programme, recommend and negotiate the required services, hire and manage contractors, work with external agencies and local government departments to obtain the necessary permits, insurances etc.  They are well versed in their local health and safety laws and requirements and able to manage any unforeseen challenges or events. They are competent in managing the overall budgets, provide constant onsite supervision and, most importantly, provide overall, hands-on project management.  

DMCs are, however, still too often judged for how much they charge, and not for the essential role they play, the extent of the services offered, or their experience in the field.  A DMC’s ultimate desire is for a more balanced relationship with their clients and the intermediary agencies.  A relationship where they are part of the team from the conceptualisation, and an integral partner throughout.

A DMC’s work may seem intangible, but it is critical to the overall success and safety of any programme. But this is not all!

In addition to local knowledge, legalities, and negotiation skills for fundamental services, DMCs are intrinsically creative, enthusiastic, and energetic, and love to deliver the “wow” moments that live long in the memories of participants, all while delivering confidence to their client in the management and execution of every element of the event.  

In the words of Actua Costa Rica DMC

The most important benefit is the unique services we can offer to create an extraordinary experience.  For example, a group in a remote area wanted a beach day – but there was no venue available.  So, we rented a vacant lot without any services, and totally equipped it with water and electricity, provided catering and furniture, erected toilets, brought in a DJ – and transformed this vacant lot into a ‘happening’ Beach Club, exclusively for this client.  Now, how can any company or international agent do this, without the services of a local expert?”

DMC Finland, Arctic Incentives, backs this up with the comment 

We know all the available suppliers, and how to combine the services they offer.  Only a DMC can access certain services or venues, not even found online, as they are specifically established for group and incentive travellers. We even own snowmobiles, a husky farm, restaurants…..  specifically catering to our incentive group clients.”

DMCs are not just an ally; they are a partner.  An integral part of the group or incentive experience.  

World of DMCs members are well established professionals based in their represented country; all are carefully vetted prior to being granted membership of the network, and are constantly monitored to ensure their high standards of service delivery and positive testimonials.  

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