Opinion

Destination Emotions Management? Emotions made to measure in Portugal

Almost three decades have passed since the last day of my tourism degree at ISLA with an official Guide Interpreter license in hand, kept safe ‘just in case’ and with a strong will to create, to learn, to feel, share, and every project was like bringing a dream into reality, regardless of some nightmares along the way.

Being a guide interpreter was never a goal, and my comfort zone was, since a very early stage, to deliver good memories at each event in Portugal. In essence, the path of an ‘Emotions Expert’, is the best way to define myself and my team, and, to make it clearer there is a title that fits everyone in the team: yes, we are all Chief Emotions Officers, a daring title and the first reaction when one reads it, is usually the most obvious: a smile!

Destination Management Company or Destination Emotions Management?

The definition of a Destination Management Company did not change much throughout the years; we are all aware that we need to have the know‑how and expertise to find solutions and deliver destination services for meetings, incentive programs, conventions and events in Portugal. This is a passionate, but also a stressful and highly impermanent activity. The impermanence is most times related to worldwide economy and politics, but also to many other factors such as stability, accessibility or safety.

This is all to say that a DMC’s success not only depends on external factors, but also on internal ones such as the destination’s availability, capacity, quality, competitiveness, safety or diversity. I had the privilege to experience both promising and crisis times, but today’s times are a true paradox: on one side, tourism in Portugal has never lived such a creative and positive moment, and on the other side, we, DMCs , never faced so many threats. This is clearly not a crisis, but a time that claims for change, and any change may well be an opportunity to improve and dedicate extra attention to the way we act. All ‘Destination Experts’ have already realised that there are new hotels, restaurants or venues opening daily, there are re‑born cities and a generation of entrepreneurs creating new products, and Portugal has been on the news for the best reasons. This is all truly blessing, but do we really feel up‑to‑date as Destination Experts in a country like Portugal? Partially yes, but unfortunately and for the best reasons, it is never enough. Is Portugal still good value? Are we all able find availability and deliver quality? Regardless the answers, we all know this is an amazing moment for Portugal, but it is also the moment for any DMC to rethink, rebalance and adjust to these new times.

So, where can we really add value and be different? Being ‘different’ is based on delivering tailored creativity and solutions. Values like expertise, know how, flexibility, transparency, or 24x7 dedicated availability are already a basic asset of any DMC. Just to wrap up, there are a lot of changes in the business and making to measure still seems to be a valid key for any DMC, but adding emotions, meaning tailored experiences or actions, seem to be the true added value, and right now and like never before, this is a unique opportunity for DMCs to make a difference creating lifetime emotions made to measure in Portugal.

Carla Andrezo
Chief Emotions Officer at Emotionstore

Tags: DMC, Emotions, Portugal

08-04-2019