What Travel Agents Should Keep in Mind When Choosing a DMC Partner

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 Experience

It 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 Stability

Overseas 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 Partnerships

Strong, 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.

Contacts

One 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 Resources

A 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 marketer

Local 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 Organizations

Travel 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 line

It 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.

Travel and Leisure Resorts

If you are planning to embark on a luxury cruise voyage, then do not hesitate any more. As much as it may look like just an ordinary leisure outing, at the end of it all you will have developed great and lasting friendship with your cruising partners. It is from such friendships that you get to learn very many things that you never knew.

During your journey, you will be overjoyed to spend some time in the travel and leisure resorts which offer marvelous services and delicacies. As you cruise all over the fabulous ports and any other place that the cruise ship sails, you should not be worried of where you will sleep or eat. Almost all travel and leisure resorts operate all day and night long. Other than the mega cruise liners, there also exist a number of various types of ships that are of different sizes. Despite the big craze of travelling in the big ships, the smaller cruise ships are better when it comes to inland waterways navigation. This makes it very simple to view historic landmarks and cities.

Travel and leisure resorts offer some good place to relax after all the day’s site seeing and travelling. If you choose to travel on a larger cruise, they organize one or two shore excursions at every port of call. You get to go for one excursion in the morning hours, and the other one in the afternoon then from there you get your time to rest at any of the travel and leisure resorts. After the first excursion, all people gather back at the travel and leisure resorts for a sumptuous lunch buffet.

Although travel and leisure resorts also offer dinner, you might always miss it on the days that you go out for an afternoon excursion and come back late at night or early evening. However, you should not miss out on any adventure just because of one meal or two. The travel and leisure resorts are always open and all of them offer very good and high quality meals. Sometimes, you can even explore the city, an island, town, or other landmarks and tourist attractions on your own provided you get to the ship on time or else, it will sail without you.

Do not forget that your vacation time is limited. You should distribute your time effectively so that you do not spend too much time in the travel and leisure resorts at the expense of shore excursions. The other very important thing that you should not forget to carry with you is the travel guide book. Without this book, you may end up lost or you may never know where certain sites are found. Some travel and leisure resorts have these guides but they cannot allow you to leave with them. Similarly, you can also carry a camera which you will use to take photos and videos. You should therefore make sure that the memory card is big enough to store all those images and videos.

New York Travel Tips For The Elderly Tourists

With its numerous historical attractions, buildings, museums and vibrant culture New York attracts millions of tourists from various corners of the world. However, it is not necessarily youngsters and families who can enjoy a vacation in the thriving city. It has plenty of options to make the tour enjoyable as well as affordable for elderly visitors. Senior citizens visiting the city, alone or with family members, can enjoy the tour if they plan carefully. The nice public transportation system and affordable accommodation will come as pleasant surprise for them.

Transportation in NYC for elderly people

Fortunately, elderly people visiting various parts of New York do not have to face transportation problems much. If you are above 65 years, it is possible to avail reduced bus and subway fares in the city. A majority of city buses have wheelchair lifts with option to lower front entrance for easier access. Seniors may also sit behind driver.

Planning for seeing NYC attractions is important for senior visitors

The tourist attractions in and around New York are aplenty but senior visitors need to plan carefully. Attractions that need lots of walking or climbing stairs can make them feel fatigued soon. Keep in mind that places like Central Park and Times Square can be best explored by walking.

Senior visitors who do not like to walk yet want to cover the most iconic landmarks and places in the city, have two options. A bus ride will cover many spots or a boat tour around the Manhattan region should suffice for them. The Manhattan island cruise takes over 2 hours and covers Statue of Liberty, Roosevelt Island and Ellis Island. Availing the Bus network is economical, as it is. It is better to check bus routes online beforehand. Gray Line bus tours are quite popular and routes cover Statue of Liberty and other top sightseeing options in the city.

Affordable tourist attractions for seniors in NYC

A number of New York tourist attractions are affordable for senior visitors. It would be a good idea to visit the museums during daytime as seniors get free entry. Some attractions have special hours like Museum of Modern Art and Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Bronx Zoo has an option to pay what you can afford for admission.

Elderly people planning to explore the city for a week should opt for New York City Pass. It helps save both money and time. It includes heavy discounts for attractions like the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art. The pass also entitles the buyers to opt for a Hayden Planetarium show and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. Senior visitors with grandchildren can obtain better discounts for the companion.

Getting close to nature

For some elderly visitors, the grandiose edifices and buildings of NYC may seem less desirable than the natural attractions like parks and zoo. They should head to various parks in the city. The historic Richmond town, central park zoo and Queens Country Farm Museum are ideal for such visitors.

World Destination Travel Tips – All About Touring Morocco

It is always a good thing to travel to new places. If you have time, money and passion for travel and fun, you could go away every year to some of the world’s best tourist destinations. A great place you could explore any time soon is Morocco. Generally a Muslim nation, Morocco is extremely diverse in terms of landscape. Besides its coastlines, the country has dry, barren deserts, mountains and forested regions.

In addition, it has a very rich cultural heritage with European and Arabic influences. Morocco is occupied mainly Berbers and Arabs. The former are believed to be the descendants of Portuguese and Spaniards who escaped from the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula in 1400s. Being home to one of the most reputable and desirable long sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast, (Casablanca) Morocco is a great place to go with your family.

As you can already speculate, water sports and wind sports are common things to do for tourists. The most renowned of all sports is surfing. In case you will come to surf, just go straight to coastal towns with surfing spots. So you want to go to the Mediterranean shores, North Atlantic Coast or South Atlantic Coast. To see the famous Casablanca beach you will have to go to Rabat, the country’s capital, in the North Atlantic Coast. There is a lot of things to see and do here, particularly for couples who want to have the most memorable honeymoons.

In addition to this, ensure that you visit the Atlantic Coast of Tangier that offers the cleanest and coldest waters. It is best visited in the hot months of July and August. If you cannot travel in summer, your alternative destination is the Mediterranean shores of Tangier. If you love a coastal area that is bordered by mountains, then ensure that you tour Plage Quemada, Al Hoceima. It is in the middle of the Rif Mountains that are found along the north Mediterranean seashore.

Though always crowded and busy, Plage Quemada beach is totally clean, beautiful and scenic. There is also another beach called Asfiha, which is not recommended for swimmers or those who like beach walks because of its shallow water levels and sticky, dirty sand. So this place is probably ideal for sight-seeing, particularly visiting the Spanish Island.

Agadir beaches are on the Atlantic coast in southwest region of the country. It is ideal for lovers of water sports who can either go to private beach areas or long sandy ones meant for public. Tangier beach is obviously perfect for surfing and other water activities and you can receive some basic training if you are new to this. Surrounded by huge mountains, Tangier, is one the most attractive beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

It is loved by tourists and local people alike, and its white-washed homes are special landmarks as well. As you wide up your trip in Morocco, remember to buy some souvenirs to take home to your friends and family. Good examples include tagines, handmade Berber carpets, Birad, Argan oil, spices and leather accessories among other things.

6 Travel Tips to Follow If You Are Going to Visit Tibet

If you are planning to travel to Tibet, we suggest that you follow the tips given below. They will help you prepare for the tour and avoid common problems at the same time. Read on to know more.

1. Plan in Advance

Make sure you book the tour a minimum of 20 days ahead of the day. Usually, it takes between 48 to 72 hours to confirm bookings. You will have to wait an additional 10 days for the Tibet Entry Permit. Also, you should get an Entry Permit to deal with new restrictions.

2. Get a Tibet Entry Permit

If you are a non-Chinese traveler, you have to apply for a Tiber Entry Permit. Besides, the only way to make your way into Tibet is to join a group. These days, individual travelers are not allowed to enter Tibet for tourism. Also, your tour should be booked in advance through a reliable travel agency. Besides, you should be accompanied by an experienced and licensed tour guide.

3. Opt for the Best Months to Travel

Generally, the best time to go to Tibet is between May and October. During these months, there is plenty of oxygen content and the weather is quite comfortable. It’s a good idea to visit Tibet where there are not a lot of visitors.

Typically, Tibet is closed for February and March. Therefore, you may want to plan your tour during other months to be on the safe side.

4. Get your Supplies

You should get warm clothes like fleeces and sweaters even if you are going to travel to Tibet in summer. The reason is that nights are usually quite cold over there. If you want to climb Everest, you must have a thick down coat with you. Besides, you must have sunglasses on you for protection against the strong sunlight.

You should also use good quality lip cream as well. Wearing comfortable walking shoes is also a good idea. If you are going to go on long road trips, you should also keep snacks with you.

5. Keep Healthy

If you are slightly sick before entering Tibet, don’t even think about climbing a mountain. The reason is that higher altitudes can worsen your sickness. So, what you should do is take it easy, keep warm, have lots of water and take your meds. Once you are back in good shape, you can go as high up there as you want.

6. Catch a Train or Fly

The most convenient way to enter Tibet is to fly. However, if you want to enjoy the amazing views, taking a train is a better idea. But it’s not recommended as it will be a long journey and it will take you ages to reach your destination.

In short, these are a few tips that you may want to follow if you are planning a trip to Tibet this year. By following these tips, you can rest assured that your trip will be comfortable, enjoyable and safe. Hope these tips will help.

International Travel Tips for Women

Men usually have it easier, especially when traveling. Women face cultural and physical concerns when traveling internationally that men do not have to deal with. So whether you are a woman traveling for business, or leisure, a few packing tips will help you stay worry free in a foreign countries. Pack simple, use common sense and beware of possible dangers.

Be aware of the social and religious aspects of the destination country

Always keep in mind that some countries have dress codes for women. You need to pack clothing that is sensitive to the cultural and religious practices of the country you are visiting. You cannot afford to be too daring or “western”, even if you feel strongly about women’s rights. Traveling in another country should be about learning and exploring – revolutionary ideas are best reserved for native people!

Be aware of climate related issues

Wearing tight clothes may be in fashion, but they can also cause physical problems is certain regions of the world. No matter how comfortable your wardrobe may be for spring and summer in your own country, they may not be elsewhere.

The right contraceptives

Contraceptives are manufactured with differing specifications from country to country, and not everywhere does the FDA say a particular contraceptive is safe to use. That makes packing suitable contraceptives a necessity, even if you are planning on a celibate trip.

Feminine protection

Remember that long trips in foreign countries may be difficult to handle unless you are prepared for your menstrual cycles. Remember that tampons are rarely available in many countries. Carrying your own provisions is advisable. Even if you are not taking a long trip, remember that jet lags, climate change, and other factors could affect your menstrual cycle as well.

Concerned about infections?

Unhygienic toilets, close contact with people of different regions and many other factors can lead to infections you would never expect. Yeast infections are a problem for women in warmer climates. And bladder infections are always the bane of traveling women. There are medications for these ailments that you may want to be sure to pack and carry.

Avoid expensive clothes

Although some women may like to flaunt their best clothing, fancy dress has no place in foreign countries, except when attending special events with security. While exploring places as a tourist, try to wear clothes that help you merge with the crowd, or at least give the impression that you are not wealthy. Expensive accessories are therefore a strict no. Besides, you should avoid anything loud and fashionable unless you are traveling in reliable neighborhoods with known people staying there.