One of the core value-adds a DMC brings to the table is a thorough knowledge of the destination.
It has been said so many times, and seems rather obvious, but what does it really mean? And what does it translate to in terms of value for the client?
What an inspired DMC does, is go beyond what is popular in the destination, beyond what features in glossy magazines and comes first on Google search.
A professional & knowledgeable DMC will introduce clients to locations in their destination that are little-known gems; products and locations that still deliver the high standards expected, but are not perhaps inundated with mass tourists, offer authentic food and drink, unspoilt nature, stunning accommodation, breath taking landscapes, and make for an unforgettable experience that delegates will still be talking about a year from now.
In one word: aspirational.
And the aspirational in any destination changes from one year to the next. New properties appear, new restaurants open up, management changes and so do client’s needs and desires.
Destinations are mostly about people creating experiences for visitors, so only a local expert can possibly be in tune with what’s new, what’s changed, what is still worth doing and what has been done to death. It means they dig deeper and keep an open mind, away from the obvious popular destinations, to uncover & discover the many “hidden” experiences that a local expert will bring to life for incentive winners.
Much more than this, a DMC is an ambassador of the destination, but also a treasure trove of insider tips and cautionary tales. We save time & effort for our clients, which translates into saving costs.
So, is that all? Of course not! The other side of the “coin”, is keeping our finger on the pulse of changing trends in the wants & needs of guests.
We have recently seen a clear shift in the demographics of incentive winners: millennials have a very different agenda and a very different value system for assessing proposed incentive destinations. They do not focus on glitz and ease of access as much as on authenticity, “realness” in the experience. They want to see the destination as locals see and feel it every day. They want to eat where the locals eat, and discover little-known locations that make them feel something more real and lasting and even life-changing.
This is the challenge but also the joy of incentives today. A fantastic opportunity for a DMC to delve deeper into what is unique and aspirational about their destination: the elusive attraction that makes people want to visit it or even move there! All of us at Preferred DMCs are passionate about our destinations and being ambassadors & pioneers is at the core of our credo.
It is a great time for incentives and for DMCs!