Jo Joshi - Head of Sales at Pearl Representation Ltd
COVID-19. The Recovery Phase
How DMC’s across the Pearl portfolio have been affected by COVID19 and their plans to recovery.
At Pearl Representation we represent 17 DMC’s across the globe, the current crisis has had an impact on all of them, however, our DMC’s are resilient, optimistic, positive and planning on how they are going to emerge stronger on the other side of this crisis.
What is a DMC?
A Destination Management Company (DMC) provides a ground service based on local knowledge of their given destinations.
These services can be transportation, hotel accommodation, restaurants, activities, excursions, conference venues, themed events, gala dinners and logistics, meetings, incentive schemes as well as helping with overcoming language barrieres.
By acting as purchasing consortia, DMCs can provide preferential rates based on the buying power they have with their preferred suppliers.
Effects of COVID19 on the DMC’s
As the Covid 19 pandemic has affected almost the whole world and most of the countries have been in a lockdown situation including the hotels and business, the international flights were forced to cease operations. Therefore, all the tourists in most countries had to fly back to their countries and automatically all the MICE groups for Spring were either postponed for an infinitive period or cancelled.
As all DMC’s had to work from their home environment, during mid-April they setup different ways to communicate again to all their overseas partners and clients embracing the virtual world of webinars, cooking and activities.
The aim of all these activities was to keep everyone united and strong during these difficult times.
Cyprus – Honeywell Events:
Cyprus is one of the very few countries in the World, who has been handling the situation with Covid 19 quite successfully, therefore now Cyprus is among the TOP FIVE SAFEST destinations in Europe. Since 14th May there is a gradual easing of the lockdown measures split into four phases.
Phase 1: Since 14th May – All business in retail trade started operation and Cypriots are gradually gaining their freedom on their daily routines such as shopping, swimming, exercising outdoors etc.
Phase 2: From 21st May - All restrictions on movements will be fully scrapped and above all the parks, squares and marinas will reopen for the public. In addition, hair and beauty salon will restart full business.
Phase 3: From mid-June - Most important is that the airports and hotels are expected to restart operation.
Phase 4: From 14th July onwards - All indoor theatres, indoor halls, and venues as well as Casinos will be resuming operation.
Malta – Meet360 Events
The situation in Malta has been well managed. Malta has had only 5 deaths in total, and just over 450 positive cases, with daily new cases dropping to single figures for a few weeks now. This has prompted a slight relax of restrictions as of the 7th May, which mainly involved the opening of shops and services under controlled conditions as detailed below:
Big Events: Public gatherings of more than 4 people are not permitted, so any large events, concerts, meetings, or fairs are currently not authorized. Schools remain shut.
Hotels: Since there is no tourism, most hotels are currently closed, with some undergoing refurbishments.
Restaurants: Currently only operating on take-away basis, but many restaurants remain shut. There is talk of them reopening at the end of May with social distancing rules in place.
Borders: All borders remain shut and all flights grounded. Airlines are taking bookings as of June, but there is currently no indication of date, or on what (quarantine) terms would travel be permitted, once borders open.
The Maltese Government is currently assessing the impact of the shop opening phase and will likely introduce further ‘relaxed’ measures later this month, with the intention of at least getting the local economy back up and running again.
iDMC – Slovenia
This crisis has had a severe impact on the Slovenian economy. They have lost a lot of business (especially in tourism), a lot of jobs were lost, and there is still more unemployment to come. There is a risk that many businesses will be closing their doors during this crisis, resulting in immense pressure on the State to help all their citizens and businesses financially.
In Slovenia lockdown restrictions are slowly in the process of being lifted. The stores (smaller ones, big shopping malls are still closed), museums, libraries, schools are re-opening.
Everyone in Slovenia must wear a mask, social distance and large gatherings are not permitted. This will be monitored for 2 weeks to ensure infection rates do not increase. If infection rates do rise, Slovenia will have to go back to strict measures.
Going forward the DMC’s are all busy planning and using this time effectively and efficiently to ensure that when business resumes, they are ready to hit the ground running.
General DMC Actions:
- Working closely and acting accordingly on Government advice.
- Keeping in contact with existing clients via Training Webinars, Virtual Site visits etc.
- Planning for 2021/2022 as they feel this when international travel and events will pick up.
- Devising new programmes which will match new buyers behaviours going forward into 2020 and 2021.
- DMC’s to conduct site visits for all their suppliers to ensure high levels of health and safety.
- Working closely with all suppliers to ensure they have the highest level of buying power.
- Working on Winter 2020 incentives -easing the market back into considering overseas travel.
- Updating Website/CRM/Proposals/Newsletters and other administration jobs.
- And ensuring high levels of Health and Safety for their teams.
Hopefully the Covid 19 pandemic will soon subside in all countries, so that all our clients can start making travelling plans again.