I’m an optimist… annoyingly so if you ask my husband. I always try to see the best in people. However, my hackles go up if I think I’m being taken advantage of. Well, I seem to think I’m being taken advantage of. I don’t know why optimism doesn’t win out in this situation. We live in a world where we think that everyone is out for themselves and could care less about us. That’s a shame because that’s just not the case most of the time.
What does this have to do with travel? I recently had a client misread an email and think the pricing was double what it was. I clarified as soon as I got the email but he had already begun to spiral, assuming the worst. He wondered why he would pay me as an expert when I was working with another company to arrange his trip. Weren’t they just doing all of the work?
This other company is what is called a destination management company (DMC). I like to use them when clients will be traveling to the other side of the world. As hard as I try to work 24 hours a day, my body does occasionally make me sleep. That means I don’t always answer the phone at 3 am, which just happens to be dinner time where you are currently traveling and are suddenly faced with a massive transit strike. I had let the client know in advance that I like to work with DMCs for this reason. The client assumed I just called the DMC and was having them do all the work.
On the contrary, I work hand in hand with DMCs to craft itineraries tailored to my clients. I will suggest focusing on certain regions if I know my clients are interested in the outdoors and send the history buffs elsewhere. Being in country, they may have more up to date knowledge about new hotels and restaurants. You work with travel advisors for their knowledge and connections. That includes knowing who to work with in each destination. As with hotels and cruise lines, there are multiple options of partners to work with in most destinations. One company may be better at adventure travel, while another is food focused. I will pick the one that makes the most sense for each particular client.
Having someone in country to go to for help is key. Having someone in your time zone is crucial when problems pop up. Another bonus is that you have people working on your trip around the clock. I’ll often catch a DMC at the end of my day and beginning of theirs and then again when my day is starting and theirs in ending.
Need more of a bonus? DMCs often have contracted rates that are better than published. They do some much business in the destination, they get a discount for the bulk they move. That savings get passed on to you. Caring is sharing!
These are partners who, just like me, want to help give you the best vacation for you. The best DMCs will tell you when they know they don’t have any contracted rates left and are pricier than published. Honesty exists! We want to do right by our clients! You have a limited number of vacation days and want to make the most of them. If you have a great time, you’re more likely to come back to us in the future and to recommend us. Don’t assume the worst. It’s a partnership. If ever you question something, ask. We’re here to help!