As a travel agent or a corporate travel buyer, do you choose to book hotels direct or to use the services of a DMC when organizing incentive trips? Lets investigate the benefits of both! When booking corporate incentive travel, events, product launches etc, planners have to make the decision about whether they employ the ground services of local specialists, like Destination Management Companies, or choose to retain control of all the communication with local suppliers.
Some choose to DIY and book directly with hotels, others will always book through their DMC partners. Lets take a look at why you'd choose to book directly and why you'd choose to use a DMC.
So, there are a number of key reasons you might choose to book a hotel directly. Firstly, there is the assumptions that you will get better rates or some kind of commission yourself, making it an attractive option for those on a tight budget.
If your incentive group are doing lots of activities within the hotel complex (i.e. a resort based incentive), it of course makes sense for you to work directly with the hotel for the entire, or most of, the incentive program.
Or, you might feel that you want to be in direct contact with each element of the program, even if it does involve extra work, especially if you’ve been to the hotel / destination before.
These are all attractive reasons for booking sales incentive hotels directly, but before you make up your mind, lets look at why you might use a DMC...
DMC’s will generally have a good local knowledge of the hotel and how it fits with the rest of your incentive program. They are likely to have a good relationship with the hotel, which can often mean better rates & communication. This can also mean greater flexibility on holding dates - a real bonus for large groups who need time to fix a date.
If the DMC - Hotel relationship is strong, they'll also know who the right contact is for each element of your group's hotel stay, whether it's concierge, banqueting or hotel services. This means you get answers to queries and requests quickly.
And finally, using a DMC means you’ll have one point of contact for accommodation, program elements and land transport, saving you precious time and duplicated communication efforts.
So, how do you prefer to operate?
We’d love to know how you prefer to operate, either by direct hotel booking or through a DMC and why!
Leave a comment and let us know!