What Travel Agents Should Keep in Mind When Choosing a DMC Partner

A DMC (Destination Management Company) provides extensive local destination knowledge and work as the extension of your travel agency. Going by their job responsibilities, any DMC is responsible for offering logistic services in their destination ranging from meet and greet options, transfers, hotel accommodation, themed events, conference venues, multiple dining options etc. They need to be trusted at both creative and professional levels.

At the end of the day, nobody but the DMCs can provide the best preferential rates for travel-trade services. A professional DMC will update itself on the latest education, standards, and practices within the DMC industry. Maintaining and bringing excellence and ethical business practices is what is essential to survive in this competitive tourism segment. Apart from the intangible qualifications, the following quotients are necessary to choose before ranking someone as a reliable DMC.

Relevant Experience

It is essential that your DMC should be efficient in dealing with itinerary creation which serves as the key component of staying organized and making it attractive to the first-time tourists. Screen your DMC whether they have sold similar tours and activities you are looking for. Also, focus on the marketing and service strengths to know how to strategize the tour plans. It would not be any way wise to partner with a DMC who is not sure of the demand from their customer base. For a DMC, industry knowledge is imperative for planning events, travel, and meetings.

Financial Stability

Overseas business needs to be done with much care and caution. Sometimes the condescending attitude of the international clientele can be cleared through discussions like whether they have any history of working with similar tour operators or what are their financial resources and credit worthiness.

Solid Partnerships

Strong, long-standing partnerships with clients and retail travel agents will make the vacation experience smoother for the tourists. This is all the more essential for the overseas partners to ensure end-to-end, high-quality travel service.

Contacts

One of the primary responsibilities for a destination management company is to execute the tourism plans and for this they need to be well connected to meet the expectations of your clients and get you repeat business. It’s therefore important to know how many and what types of local service providers they are connected to, whether it’s hotels, ground transportation companies, activity providers or even government bodies.

Adequate Resources

A destination management company is expected to handle the entire aspect of the social calendar of the client. To get the most out of your DMC, make sure to check what that particular DMC specializes in the expected range of services.

Check whether they are destination marketer

Local knowledge and expertise are the major selling points of any DMC. However, what makes one DMC better than the other is how they deploy their local expertise on tourism strategies. A good DMC should be able to create demand for their destination which would be wrapped in innovative activities.

When and how to use a DMC?

DMCs are particularly useful in case of MICE trips. While organizing such trips to an unfamiliar location, especially in an overseas destination, a DMC is what you cannot but take help from. They are the best to organize the conferences, conventions, exhibitions, meetings etc. with sources of credible local suppliers and negotiable budgets.

Imagine you and your team trying to manage an unexpected error in organizing an entirely strange location with currency, language, custom barriers. To avoid this nightmarish condition, trust a DMC. Taking care of event management, promotional staff, security, etc. is much more cost effective in terms of transportation and accommodation by a DMC than for a foreign travel agent.

Familiarization tours (FAMs for short) are a great scope to get to know the tour operators, DMOs, and travel agents. Specializing in designing and implementing corporate programs, DMCs travel services range from leisure to business applications as well as online to personal.

Strategic marketing of a state at any foreign country can no way be developed to the master skill standard as that of a DMC. Working with industry and government contacts, DMCs can offer small and medium-sized businesses in toolkits. The final cost of the travel package along with the value-added components still would be lesser if compared to that of the travel agent’s budget.

Community Destination Marketing Organizations

Travel services for CDMOs generally offer services such as specific destination packages, hotel search engines, events and festival listings and other information with potential visitors’ interests. Sometimes, these similar services are offered by local chamber of commerce or economic development office in absence of a CDMO.

A plethora of customized and targeted reservation systems are used by the CDMOs to work smoothly at strategic locations and events. Sector-specific associations, hospitality human resources organizations, economic development and city planning offices and travel consultants helps to carry out the activities in a business-to-business format. Business travel managers of DMCs are aware of the strained and budgeted trips and all the packages are done keeping in mind the price sensitivity.

Some Smart Tips

  • Try and maintain relationships with least three potential DMCs so that you can compare the quotes for any particular service and get the best price for the service
  • Get the full breakdown of commissions, hidden price and fees, this is because some DMCs apply an event management fee which might change depending on the custom charges
  • Be advised of local best practices like tipping or other common shares followed by the folks
  • Establish reporting lines and get the detailed report of the contingency options for all travel delays

Before contracting with a DMC, check the following points:

  • Demographic information including its registered name and address
  • Legal structure of the company
  • Business start date
  • Whether they have membership in respective tourism offices
  • Business licenses as required by law
  • The real Certificate of Insurance
  • If possible, try and get some references

Bottom line

It won’t be wrong to say that an overseas travel agent’s guardian angel is a Destination Management Company. The Destination Manager must be cognizant of the quality of service providers and be aware of the contract dealings.

Travel professionals, directly or indirectly hold one singular motto – to provide the best possible experience to the traveler. Not to promote your own agency, not to defend the job title, not to impede the valuable time – but travel agents and DMCs should work hand on hand and invest time and effort in customer satisfaction, innovation and optimum productivity.

Travel Arrangements and Insurance

There are many different types of traveller. There are business men and women who are flying from one city to another for brief meetings, then there are families taking a two week holiday to the sun with young children, then there are students or gap year travellers who will be backpacking around exotic locations on extremely low budgets. There are really about as many different types of traveller as there are different types of person.

There are many different approaches you can take to booking your travel arrangements. Your main priority may be convenience, for example if you have a meeting near the airport you will need airport accommodation and little else, however, if you are travelling for pleasure, you are likely to have far less restrictions and will be willing to consider all types of arrangements. You can have these arranged for you by a travel agent or you could do it for yourself online. Or alternatively, you may wish to simply travel to a city or country with absolutely no plans and just see what happens when you get there.

On of the things you should always travel with is proper health and travel insurance. Obviously your requirements will again vary depending on what kind of travel you are undertaking. If you are travelling for business, full travel insurance that will provide you with alternative flights if yours is cancelled or delayed will be important. For most holiday travellers, this may not be quite as important. If you are travelling with children you may wish to consider it, but otherwise you may be quite flexible and tolerant if delays do occur. But you may be more worried about your luggage and belongings and wish to have good coverage for loss or damage to your property. All these options are available today with the various travel insurance companies that are operating in the market.

Generally speaking, you will always need health insurance when you travel. You cannot afford to take the risk that an accident or serious injury occurs and you do not have proper coverage. There are many parts of the word where free national health insurance is not provided and if you do require medical treatment, it will only be provided if you can pay for it. Particularly if you are travelling with children, you should always arrange adequate travel insurance with medical coverage. This is simply a risk that you do not want to be bearing yourself especially when the cost of travel insurance is so affordable.

Finding Your Ideal Travel Agents

Some people feel dissatisfied with their travel agents since they feel they have paid too much for a substandard assistance. They don’t give importance to the vacation that their clients are usually looking forward to. However, there are a number of good travel agents too, based on the happy clients they have who always go back to them to acquire their services further. Examples of these good professionals are the Los Angeles travel agents.

Most people rely on the expertise of Los Angeles travel agents since they established the name of being genuinely professional and dedicated at their careers. Because of this, the majority of the trips which they arrange are excellent. Their great work garners them new business while retaining returning clients who are positive about the satisfaction that they will have with every tour.

Some great benefits of dealing with agents are detailed as follows. For one, working with an LA agent makes your hands free from last-minute “to do” assignments before departing. You are certain that everything works properly in your vacation; there is a professional who took good care of every aspect up to the last detail to ensure that no problem will arise. Next is, your agent would take care of all the essential records needed in your trip. You may already know, the requirements of countries with regards to obtaining tourist visas vary. Consequently, allowing an agent that knows the appropriate requirements to process would save time, work, and cash.

An additional advantage of dealing with an agent who works at a travel agency, is the provision of travel insurance. Although your agent will certainly not want for you to encounter something terrible, having travel insurance could make you feel that you will be taken care of throughout your vacation. Lastly, they could assure you have round the clock assistance while you are on trip so everything or any misunderstandings can easily be resolved.

Working with Los Angeles travel agents will surely allow you appreciate your vacation without having stress, trouble, and you would not have to worry too much. They have first hand experience and great knowledge to provide the finest services to allow full pleasure of your much awaited vacation. If you’re wise and you know what is best for you when going out of the country, be sure you work with an agent. Clearly, the advantages of working with agents are worth every penny. Therefore, when you make a decision to take a vacation, you know who to call to enjoy your trip.

Mothers Can Work From Home As A Travel Agent!

People who want to work from home can look forward to becoming a travel agent and work from home. By becoming a travel agent, you can get commission on booking made by you. If you are person with good contacts and if some of your contacts are frequent travelers then you might book tickets and hotel reservations for those people and earn a commission out of it. You can directly become a travel agent for the airlines, cruises, and hotels or work with an agency as a sub agent and earn commission for bookings. Working with an agency is the easiest way to start your home business as travel agent. By working with an agency you can avoid the heavy membership fees that are needed to be paid to the airlines and hotels. In fact as an agent you can book tickets cheaper for your customers so that your customers come back to you often for booking. If you can pass on some of your commission to your customers they are sure to get cheaper tickets and bookings.

As an agent you contacts may be limited to your area alone. If you can have tie ups with other agents who are working outside your locality, it will widen your scope of service. Networking with other agents is also necessary. When you work with an agency you can get a lot of contacts of other agents as well. This helps you to broaden your scope of business. By working with other agents you become a part of the team although you are working from home. This gives you a cheerful environment for your business.

With more and more people traveling now-a-days it is easy to get bookings if you have a good network. You can start booking for your friends and relatives and then widen your horizon. Your services are needed for anyone who is traveling on a business trip or for a vacation with their family. You can get commissions for booking hotels, cars, cruises, tour packages, air tickets (local and international), and train tickets. Apart from these you can also work on insurance and booking for attractions. The commission varies with the type of booking that you do and is also depends on the agency for which you are working.

To gain more experience in travel agent business you can also undergo a short term course in that line. There are many institutions that conduct courses for agents and particularly for home based agents. There are many websites dedicated for home based travel agents. You can approach these institutions for more information on the type of courses offered and the fees for those courses. A simple search on the internet will give you a lot of such institutions that are near your locality. Becoming a member of some of the travel network gives you an edge as a travel agent. You can visit sites like, nacta.com and ossn.com for more information on these.

Before you go any training in this line, it is better to have a feel of how this industry works. So it is better to start right away without expecting any returns out it and see how it works. Once you come to know the positives of this travel agent business you can go for any training if necessary and if you decide to pursue this full time being a travel agent at home.