Glamour Helps Define The Role Of
Destination Management History
In the 1960s the Ground Operator business was born as a direct response to the demands of meeting, incentive and convention planners for organized leisure activities during their programmes. They were, for the most part, small entities which offered basic services of airport transfers, tours and transportation. In the 1970s these companies added themed parties and events to their services and travel agents and tour operators began utilizing their services.
The term Destination Management was coined in 1972 by Phil Lee founder of the Company, California Leisure Consultants, to describe the expanded roles of logistics experts. They were no longer merely providing transportation but were professionals extending major support services to individuals and groups.
Jamaica’s first Destination Management Company was created in 1987 and has seen successful development in the past two decades. Notwithstanding the growth in this industry, the role of DMCs in Jamaica, and even throughout the rest of the Caribbean, is still highly misunderstood and woefully underrated. In order to solve this, stakeholders must represent themselves as destination managers and market both locally and on the international scene.
What is a Destination Management Company?
A Destination Management Company is defined by the Association of Destination Management Executives as “a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and full implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and programmes logistics.” If required, a DMC can make reservations for villas, resorts, hotels, provide travel management, guides and hostesses.
The keywords when working with a DMC are customized and specialized. They act as local partners for group and event organizers, receptive agents for travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines and tour and airline charter operators. Today, irrespective of their definition, destination management is a major industry generating millions of dollars worldwide and employing thousands of people.
Nonetheless, there are several challenges facing these companies. The problem is compounded by the fact that many have jumped in and out of the business. Such amateurs perform poorly by not delivering on their promise. The professionals in this industry must separate and position themselves as the “diamonds.” If they perform an excellent job, they will create the buzz and demand needed for their services.
It is, in deed, a buyers market and so the competition has become even more intense among DMCs. Clients are seeking several different bids even if they’ve worked with the same DMC for years. Professionals are forced to present their services at a lower cost and retain creativity within small budgets, all while keeping their clients’ needs top of mind.
DMCs need to raise awareness in order to gain the recognition and respect of the various players in the tourism industry. Hotels, resorts and villas will begin to realize that they can bring business to them. These are some advisable tips:
Members of local associations must unite, whether it is for the purpose of lobbying government, marketing the destination or educating others. They must gain international partnerships for greater prominence. Iceland is a prime example of successful tourism marketing. Even with its drastic climatic conditions, Iceland has achieved positive results through combined marketing efforts and strategic positioning of its tourism product. In this context, the government, DMCs, hoteliers, attractions, entertainment organizers and other interested parties have come together to promote their destination as a united front.
The basic success of a well organized company lies in marketing, sales, good customer relationship management and ensuring that the product is well tuned at all times. Destination Management Companies need to roll out well formatted plans directed at the relevant target audiences with technology playing a pivotal role in the process. A clearly defined brand will “shout above the crowd” and stand accountable for excellent results. After the National Tourist Board and Convention Bureau, a true Destination Management Company is the next single entity in line to market any destination effectively. The time is now as we face an expanding tourism product.
Glamour is a destination management company based in Jamaica with offices in the Cayman and Turks and Caicos, a trendsetter since 1987, in the art of service and creativity.
About Glamour Destination Management
Glamour is the Caribbean’s foremost destination management company, with over two decades of experience and a proven record of satisfying clients from all over the world. Services include ground transportation, handling meeting & incentive groups, event management, concierge, receptive services, tour operators, travel agents, cruise excursions, tours, private jets, travel consortia, airline charters and yachts and special services.
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