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The Difference Between a DMO and a DMC

January 26, 2016

Getting ready for your next big program? Wondering if you need a DMO or DMC? Or both? Still trying to figure out just exactly which company does what and when? We get it; there are plenty of acronyms floating around. So to clarify the terms and help meeting planners determine where to turn for help, we’ve outlined the difference between a DMO and a DMC.

DMO or Destination Marketing Organization is a not-for-profit organization that represents a specific destination. Its purpose is to help drive business to the destination through group bookings at area properties. The term is often used interchangeably with CVB, yet the DMO may operate a bit differently than a traditional CVB in that its primary focus is on group business travel rather than both leisure and business travel. The DMO is responsible for promoting the destination with the intent of booking meeting and event business, which helps boost the local economy.

Often the official point of contact for meeting planners, DMO’s are considered destination experts. With local knowledge, strong hotel relationships and numerous resources, DMO’s help streamline the site selection and planning process. DMO’s can offer unbiased recommendations and extensive information on meeting facilities, offsite venues and unique activities. They are experts at helping groups get the most out of their time in the destination.

As not-for-profit organizations, DMO’s do not charge for their services. The majority of their funding comes through a combination of hotel occupancy taxes and membership dues.

The role of a DMC

A destination management company or DMC also has extensive local knowledge, but is primarily involved with everything on the ground once a program books. DMC’s specialize in the implementation of events rather than the destination and hotel selection. They handle all aspects of a program from airport transportation to themed events, activities and tours to overall program logistics. DMC’s are for profit businesses, providing services for a fee.

DMC’s work cooperatively with DMO’s, hotels, resorts, convention centers and venues. Like DMO’s they also have up-to-date information about the area. They will often work with a DMO during site inspections in order to showcase the best of the destination and provide an overall experience for the client with the intent of booking the business.

Because DMC’s may be organizing and managing many aspects of a program they must have a strategically located office. Many companies, especially those with incentive programs, have preferred DMC partnerships. In areas where the preferred DMC does not have a local team, the company may rely heavily on the DMO for full program recommendations including, venues, activities, restaurants and transportation, yet they will have an internal operations team execute the meeting onsite.

While the overall objective for a DMO is to bring programs to the destination, the primary goal of a DMC is to manage a seamless program from start to finish. Both organizations however, have the same intention: highlight the best of the destination and deliver an experience that leads to repeat business.

When you begin to search for the ideal destination for your next program, start by involving the local DMO. In Newport Beach, CA that DMO is Visit Newport Beach. As a destination partner, Visit Newport Beach has the knowledge and expertise that can simplify the planning process and offers incentives and resources that can extend the meeting budget. Once you have the destination selected and the property contracted, then it’s time to turn to your DMC for the coordination and management of program details and logistics.

Regardless of where your next program takes you, knowing the difference between a DMO and a DMC and which to call when, will ease the site selection and program management process.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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