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Destination Management in India

DMC stands for Destination Management Company. These are the companies that act on local levels as they have better local assistance to support corporates and other companies that work from distant locations.

DMC is a new coined concept in booming tourism sector. As the tourism industry is growing so are the new management concepts are. All these require a proper definition of each and every newly coined term for better destination management.

In case of lack of awareness DMC acts as a bridge between the local and foreigner as it provides a better information of the local and management at local levels where big industries and corporations fail.

A DMC offers the following logistic services in their destination:

  • Meet and Greet,
  • Transfers / Transportation,
  • Hotel Accommodation,
  • Restaurants Facilities,
  • Activities,
  • Educational Excursions,
  • Conference Venues,
  • Themed Events,
  • Gala Dinners and
  • Logistics support.

A DMC supports to overcome language barrier which is a big obstacle in tourism sector. A DMC works on mutual trust and reliance hence, a DMC must be someone on which you could fully rely. A DMC assist you for creative as well as professional purposes. A DMC offers you preferential rates based on their own buying powers.

History of Destination management in tourism industry :
As the demand for management of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions increased in 1960s with emergence of a new global economy and development after World War-2, a new business called Ground Operator emerged. They were small entities which offered basic assistance at local levels like airport transfers, tours and other local transportations.

In 1970s added themed parties and event management in their ground operations. These services were best utilized by tour and travel operators.

The term Destination Management was devised in 1972 by Phil Lee founder of the Company, California Leisure Consultants, to describe the expanded roles of logistics experts. Now the mare transfer and transportation supporting entities had broader meanings of organizing events and managing local destinations with greater assistance.

DMC in India :
India is rapidly emerging as a hub of DMC. Yet there are miles to go for India in this field. With development process growing immensely India is luring investors and entrepreneurs from across the world that is competent enough. With efforts of government to promote Small and Micro Enterprises many young are coming to develop in field of Destination Management.

A major DMC working in Northern India is Holy Voyages. It has a chain of all the elements of Destination Management to serve clients best. Also it has a big group of professionals and trained workers who act on local destinations which makes it entirely reliable. Holy Voyages is DMC for major tourist destinations in Northern India like Varanasi, Allahabad, Bodhgaya, Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Lucknow etc. It is also DMC for Buddhist Tourist Circuit of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Biahr like Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, kushinagar, Sravasti, Sanchi Patna etc.

What is a Destination Management Company?

A Destination Management Company is defined by the Association of Destination Management Executivesas“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.”

Works of DMCs :
Though there is no fixed definition of works of a DMC as it has an ever-expanding role in tourism industry. There are some works which are clear to be managed by a DMC. These are as follows:

  • A DMC makes reservations for villas, resorts, hotels
  • Provide travel management, guides and hostesses
  • Act as local partners for group and event organizers,
  • Acts as receptive agents for travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines and tour and airline charter operators

There are 6 other elements of a chain of DMCs :

  • Tourist / Traveler (client)
  • Travel Agent
  • Destination Service Supplier (hotels, events suppliers, venues, tour operators)
  • Ground Handlers
  • Transportation suppliers
  • Transaction platform providers / payment processors

Flow-chart presenting DMC and its managements :

Flow-chart presenting DMC and its managements

Nowadays, Destination Management is a beneficial business contributing millions of foreign currency to India. Nonetheless, there are several challenges facing these companies.

Challenges of Destination Management :

  • Amateurs in industry make services delayed and less-reliant.
  • Lack of professionals in this industry makes it less managed.
  • Tough competitions in business markets
  • 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.
  • Lack of well-developed infrastructure and industry in India poses a challenge to DMCs at local levels.
  • Lack of proper policy frames for Destination Management creates frauds and corruption at local levels making India less-reliant for destination management.

Some suggested points for better destination management in India :

  • Respond in a timely manner
  • Eliminate the need for travel agency IATA numbers when a reservation is being made.
  • Supply requested rates to tour operators, who represent clients overseas.
  • Some hotels have opted to set up their own DMC operations in-house or have preferred handlers. Such decisions should not create a challenge for external operators selected by a client who brings business to our destination.
  • Members of local associations must unite, whether it is for the purpose of lobbying government, marketing the destination or educating others.
  • Local Associations must gain international partnerships for greater prominence.

Example of Iceland for India’s future prospects :

Iceland is a country with harsh climatic conditions which anyone would hardly prefer. Yet Iceland has gained positive results through combined marketing efforts and strategic positioning of its tourism product. In Iceland, the government, DMCs, hoteliers, attractions, entertainment organizers and other interested parties have come together to promote their destination as a united front.

Thus Government of India could also collaborate with DMCs, corporates, event management organizers, and other interested parties who wish to collaborate with government and could make better efforts.

India has better resources and youthful population which is a good human resource. All the positive points of nation could lead it to be a major hub of DMCs and destination management. It is also good for generating economic resources, livelihood, and employment for millions of youth of the country.