This week we gain another Industry Member Insight as we talk to Omur Yeker, Managing Director at DMCREP, Istanbul, Turkey.
Tell us a little about DMCRep and what you do?
DMCREP is 5 years old. We are a relatively new, dynamic and proactive sales and marketing company who represent international DMC’s within the Turkish Market. We help our partners to create a solid client network within the Turkey and win new business.
What would you say are your company’s top 3 challenges at this moment in time?
Our biggest challenge is market uncertainty. It creates an environment that demotivates our clients, agents and DMCs and makes it is difficult to fulfil our sales functions properly.
Another unfortunate result of this pandemic is the loss of many qualified human resources from the industry and also some of our valuable network. This will cause a big challenge in future.
This pandemic has been a steep learning curve in so many ways. What are the main lessons you have learnt over the last 6 months?
1. There are many lessons, but the main one is how important it is to have a personality which is self-motivated – to never be satisfied with your skillsets and to keep learning.
2. Secondly, the value of trust, for your team, your clients, and your partners. It is important to show them that you are there not only as a supplier, but also a partner and friend, and to care for each other during these difficult times.
3. And lastly, to keep open communication, to be transparent and to share information at all times, especially with your team!
I know leadership and advocating for continued professional development are very important to you. What do you think are the main shortfalls in the tourism industry at this moment in time? What do we need to do to get through this stronger than ever?
In my opinion, we do not give enough importance to the value of education and training in our industry. For this reason we are falling behind in attracting qualified human resources compared to other industries. We have many tools to change this around and attract the new generations and be a trendsetter in this field! I believe we have a competitive advantage which we do not use, or of which we are not aware.
Another shortfall is that we never sell at our full value. For some reason, we are too scared to ask for the value of our inputs, which in turn devalues our entire package. Most of the time we overlook all the added value we provide to customers.
In essence, these two shortfalls are connected to each other. We need better education and training in our industry and proper marketing strategies to sell ourselves at the value we offer. This pandemic might be an opportunity reevaluate this obstacle in our industry.
On a personal level, have you had time to re-skill/up-skill on anything in particular over this time? Work and/or hobby related!
I have a collection of used hotel keycards which I have been collecting for over 20 years. During this period I’ve had the chance to create a wall decoration using over 200 of these keycards!
I have also adopted my second dog. He is an English Setter and nowadays I’m working a lot on his training. It gives me great pleasure.
As travel in general is hit, there is a fear that the appetite for incentive and event travel might not bounce back to as it was before. What are your thoughts on this?
Travel will continue as long as human DNA stays as it is. However, conditions, expectations, habits, and priorities will be different. To be successful, we need to adapt to this quickly by being proactive and take a position at the forefront of these new trends.
Sales forms a big part of your background. This is one area that has ground to a halt over this time. Have you any advice on how or when to start selling again?
In my opinion, a big mistake being made by many at the moment has been to stop, pull back and wait. We are too scared even to call up the client! During these times, we should not stop our sales activities at all. Obviously, we need to alter how and choose an appropriate strategy. However, it is important to keep calling our clients as you never know what they might need, or when!
As a local in Turkey, what is your favourite thing about your country to show visitors?
I have so many favourites, but I would suggest these as my top 3.
- Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia
- The gastronomy of the Southeastern Region – Antakya, Gaziantep & Adana and more!
- The highlights of Istanbul’s historical peninsula and Bosphorus
Turkey’s new website allows you to browse even more ideas!
We love to be inspired! Can you leave us with something to mull over?
Written by Omur Yeker, DMCREP, Turkey