A destination management company (DMC) is a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specialising in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. A DMC’s work includes liaising with travel agents to build and confirm travel itineraries, working with hotel and activity providers to secure contracted rates, running on-ground logistics and last-mile operational fulfilment for individual and group tours.
DMCs may specialise in one or more locations and may have staff ranging from a few tens to hundreds of people, in roles like tour creation and bookings, reservations, contracting, ground services, and accounts.
We had some thoughts around leveraging technology to solve operational challenges for DMCs. We wanted to rapidly crystallise and validate these ideas, find out whether a software solution was desirable, and arrive at a prototype that could be developed further by our product team.
We started by conducting a couple of unstructured interviews with subject matter experts to understand the domain, key stakeholders and workflows. Based on our understanding, and inspired by lean UX approaches, we formed an initial set of assumptions and hypotheses, which we then prioritised and started validating by engaging with DMCs.
During this engagement with DMCs, as part of the discovery and design process at our end, we identified and charted the types of stakeholders and stages of operation at DMC organisations. We then decided to focus on specific stakeholders and stages. We ran multiple design sprints to arrive at these decisions.
Parallely we utilised tools like the SVPG Opportunity Assessment and the Business Model Canvas. We also carried out a basic competitor analysis to gauge what existing product offerings support and lack.
This is the resulting prototype we arrived at. Finally, based on several structured interviews with DMCs, we could conclude that we had arrived at problem-solution fit.