Social media has been able to spell its magic over all the industries. A single industry has not escaped and will not escape from its strong grip. Having an account in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Pinterest and Google+ is indispensable in these days to connect the audiences, generate more inbound traffic and leads. The best part of the social media is that industries never lose anything through this campaign. Also, the travel industry enjoys all these benefits.The travel industry is flourishing taking advantages of the social media campaigns and using its various tools. It has turned to be a stepping stone for the travel industry. Here is how the travel industry flourishes using it.Facilities provided by the for status updates, posting of photos and videos have helped the travel industry a lot, in the long run, to create more revenue opportunities and raise traffic on the site. Posting of news, photos and videos help to receive comments and likes. Its popularity on the active fan page converts visitors into consumers.Social networking sites provide grounds for the brand credibility of the industry. Whenever anyone visits a place, he shares his photos, videos and gives comments about the service of the company. Other people also see that video and post their positive or negative views about the company. They share it with their friends and others. Sometimes, the videos posted on the sites go viral. It helps to give a good mileage to the industry and brings brand credibility for the travel industry.Customers get an opportunity to share their good or bad experiences that they encounter during their travel. A great many visitors place their opinions about it. Participating in it and keeping their own opinions on the social media sites travel agencies can clear the misconceptions and console the customers representing their views on behalf of the companies. It helps to enhance the brand reputation of the industry.According to the Social Media Travel Marketing Report, 86% of the marketers have experienced a sustainable growth in their travel businesses spending less than six- hour of a week on it. Almost 64% of the marketers opined that they had generated good leads using it. Whereas 36% had told that they had witnessed an upsurge in their businesses after using social media for over three years. More than 89% of the markets had adopted it as a strategy for their marketing.
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 ExperienceIt 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 StabilityOverseas 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 PartnershipsStrong, 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.ContactsOne 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 ResourcesA 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 marketerLocal 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 OrganizationsTravel 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 lineIt 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.