New online entrants to the tourism industry have been a subject of concern in the traditional travel retail and wholesale space. The question of sustainability of the traditional chain has taken on a new meaning in today’s tourism market, however, this has also put the industry in a position to take a step back and relook at the value of the distribution chain and how the success of DMCs continues into the future.

“The ‘human touch’ and our related services are ultimately what separate traditional DMCs from online disruptors, who in turn, are also frequently disrupted themselves,” says Suzanne Benadie, Sales Director at Tourvest DMC.

This year’s Travel Trends Report, released by Trekksoft, reported that, although more bookings are going via online channels, the revenue per booking has declined versus traditional booking channels where there was human interaction. It can then be assumed that although people may enjoy the convenience of online, ultimately they still have a certain trust factor when interacting with other people, enough to be willing to spend more on their holiday. This highlights the unique advantage that traditional operators still have. 

In as much as Tourvest DMC has adopted technology to streamline processes for its clients, its core business is consulting, and it is its people, their knowledge and passion for travel and tourism and the relationships with suppliers that have been built over years. This is where their competitive advantage lies and is what drives the business.

“We’ve recently readjusted our strategy to invest more into this core area of specialisation, to enhance both client and guest experience. Our Guest Impressions department duly allows the business to streamline administrative processes out of operations into administration, in order to free up more time for our Travel Specialists to consult,” says Andrea Hand, Director of Guest Impressions at Tourvest DMC.

Tourvest DMC’s Guest Impressions department ensures that 24-hour assistance is readily available for guests travelling in the Southern African region. The various value-adds, which are available through traditional channels, have quickly become major selling points and have provided guests with the personal touches and a concierge service.