Sometimes as a small business owner, reaching a larger audience can be a challenge. Consider the value that comes with destination management companies (DMC) and how creating valuable partnerships can mean that much more by reaching a clientele you may otherwise not be able to. Or if you consider yourself to be the local expert, what about expanding your own business offerings? As a tour operator, destination management is another avenue or pivot to consider to get your business name out there during exceptionally challenging times.
Recap: What is Destination Management Company and Why You Should Use One in General
If you’re unfamiliar with destination management companies, take a moment to catch up(opens in a new tab) on who they are, what they do, and the potential pros and cons. In quick summary, a destination management company is a third-party firm which brings together services (logistical, activities, excursions, transportation, accommodation, restaurants, conference venues, and more) for other companies, and often (but not always) culminate with a larger event such as a conference. DMCs have extensive local knowledge and contacts in order to offer the best comprehensive experience possible for their clients. They are also exceptionally valuable when it comes to coordinating in another language, accounting for local laws, customs, and ensuring reasonable pricing. DMCs aren’t simply travel agents, they have a deep familiarity with the local market and are often more directly involved in collecting and bringing all the necessary pieces together.
The Present Value of Your Tours Being Offered Through a DMC
In addition to the general value that comes from working with a DMC, circumstantially it presents additional appeal that tour and activity operators should consider. Ultimately working with a DMC exposes your business to a wider audience. This of course acts as a form of marketing in and of itself, so you don’t necessarily have to invest in a marketing campaign. Futhermore through backlinks on other sites, the credibility of your own site will increase in addition to helping your SEO ranking.
Working with a DMC isn’t just about reaching the international market, it also contributes an immense value to targeting the local market as well. If you’re a tour operator with one of two offerings it may be difficult to generate enough traffic on your own. By joining a DMC with a substantially wider reach and presence, you’re no longer the lonely fish in the immense ocean but instead, you’re presented alongside other similar small fish with their own distinct offerings, packaged together under the larger collective. It’s in the best interest of the DMC for you to get sales, so they’ll be promoting your tours as part of their offerings for their clientele.
How to Attract Destination Management Services
Creating a relationship with a DMC is a two-way process: you need to sell yourself to them, and you need to do your part to find a DMC which aligns with your brand financially and with its offerings. In order to best present yourself, make sure your website showcases your local knowledge and value. If you have any existing partnerships, have won any awards or if you have local affiliations, show them off in order to highlight your business’s credibility. Additionally beyond just your tours, ensure your “about us” page the best it can be, again showcasing your story, local connection, and presenting yourself in the most professional way possible. Lastly, use your blogs to show off your diverse and extensive knowledge. As a local, you’re more than just your tours and that carries a ton of value with it.
How to Choose the Right DMC for You
You’ve set yourself up to attract a DMC but now the ball is in your court. Just like OTAs (online travel agencies), it’s about finding a company that has a strategy and model that works for your business. The most important thing is to do your research. Different DMCs offer different pricing models, so you need to consider the balance between cost and potential value. Don’t feel like you have to settle for the first one. Look into the businesses: their strategies, their current customer base, their potential reach, their other partners. Different DMCs can be tapped into different markets, so whatever market you’re trying to target find a DMC in line with that who specifically shows how to cater to that market.
Just like your website, the information needs to constantly be up to date in order to attract customers and DMCs, look for this very same point in a partner. If they are not constantly maintaining their content, are you risking potentially getting lost at the bottom of a list somewhere, having put in your effort but with no reward?
Getting Into Destination Management Yourself
What about taking things further and becoming a destination management service yourself? If you have extensive knowledge and you’re well connected in your local community, expanding into destination management will have you bringing together tours, activities, and other elements together in order to package and present those offerings to the public. If you can pinpoint any additional needs amongst local businesses in your area for a destination management company plus the need for such a company, then this is a great opportunity to grow your business and bring these parties together under your care. Use the same credibility tactics for attracting DMCs when it comes to presenting yourself as one (website, about us, accreditations, existing partnerships, and extensive knowledge).
Being a DMC yourself doesn’t mean you necessarily have to stop offering your own tours either. Check out our client Bamboo Ecotours who offers both tours and DMC services through their website(opens in a new tab). Whether you’re looking to rebrand your whole site or simply expand into destination management, Tourism Tiger can help with both additional content(opens in a new tab) and or a full website makeover(opens in a new tab).
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