Why working with a True Local DMC (Destination Management Company) matters
I came across this pic posted on social media by Colin Thaver from Southern Africa 360 (picture courtesy- Internet).
Having been lucky enough to travel to quite some parts of the world and interact with local destination management companies all over, I have shared the same sentiment for years now.
In the past decade and a half, a lot of travel companies in India have sprung up branding themselves as a DMC for an outbound destination. Now, they may be an expert for your customers, but I wonder how can their knowledge or expertise exceed beyond what a locally based DMC in that outbound destination. Today end consumers/ tourists are supplied packages which are put together by a self branded non-local expert. These experiences are largely marketed through b2b channels. Many small travel agents, and often some medium and large tour operators buy from them because of the low price point and convenience (read as no time to check quality or authenticity). No wonder, lot of local experiences and activities are directly selling to customers by working through online platforms. This doesn't still offer the complete local destination experience - which can be delivered more competently by a local DMC. An ideal DMC is usually a home grown, trusted, passionate and locally stationed expert on the destination; they are a channel for ensuring the tourism spend reaches small local businesses which preserve the culture, cuisine and heritage of the destination - all those elements that deliver value to the tourist experience. Many restaurants, local accommodations, artisans, attractions, activities and other suppliers of tourism services rely on such DMCs to bring customers.
Travel agents who take pride in serving quality to travelers must consider working with truly local DMCs or working with B2B partners who use them. Your customers want their first experience of the destination to be authentic and memorable. Deliver and they will return to the destination, remain loyal to you and needless to say, bring more business and prosperity to the entire supply chain.