Journey Beyond Travel is an Inbound Tour Operator and Destination Management Company (DMC) in Morocco. We are the official tour operator for some of the world’s top companies and strive to develop high-quality partnerships as a DMC with a hand-full of select outbound operators around the globe. Many of these collaborations have originated with outbound companies contacting us as they search for a top-caliber destination management company to represent them. Other partnerships have been formed through our meeting potential partners at travel events around the world and our own focused outreach.
The following outlines how Journey Beyond Travel conducts business as a destination management company in Morocco. Most of the policies we have in place help us to maintain, foster, and protect our relationships with our in-country partners, including and not limited to the accommodation establishments with which we work, our own staff and coordinators, along with drivers and guides while still meeting the diverse needs of our clientele.
A quick note: For the next couple of years, at the very least, we expect travel to be heavily influenced by the global pandemic. As such, we continue to develop tools and procedures to be not only dependable, but flexible with our partners and their clients. Do read up on our reaction to the Covid 19 crisis as it hit Morocco and reach out to us if you have any particular questions related to the pandemic and state of travel in Morocco.
Demographics, Tour Languages, and Trip Styles
As a Destination Management Company (DMC) located on-the-ground in Morocco, we are able to adapt to the needs and requests of our worldwide travel partners. We enjoy working with travel companies in locations in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, but also partners in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Brazil, among others. All of our trips are private and customized around your customers’ needs and can be arranged for couples, small groups, and for set-date group departures that you might arrange. Our trips are conducted in English, although we can also do so in French or Arabic, and do have some drivers who can lead in Spanish. Primarily, though, our focus is on the English-speaking market.
Trip styles vary and we are flexible in that regard. We’ll work with you to fine-tune your trip to the style and preferences of your travelers. Our trips are not budget oriented and in Morocco expectations of middle-range (3/4-star) to upper-middle range (4-star deluxe) can be met. At the luxury (5-star) level, we can accommodate, but there are still some aspects of Morocco’s travel sector that lack at offering a true luxury experience.
All of our trips are all cultural and experiential. We can, however, focus trips even more for groups with other interests, whether it is food, photography, soft adventure, trekking, or even active pursuits. We invite you to reach out to us about your company’s style and mission and we’ll do our best to attune our programs to best meet your needs. In some cases, even after careful or lengthy discussions, we may conclude that we are not a good fit for your company and may decline pursuing a collaboration.
We laser-focus our trips to your needs and do so while avoiding the common complaints of forced shopping, vendor hassling, and other annoyances that are commonplace in Morocco. We do so by training, treating, and compensating our drivers, guides, and staff the best in the country. Thus, our upfront costs might be at tad more, but the end costs are a more valuable measure. Your travelers will rave about their tour to Morocco and give the sort of positive feedback and word of mouth that is essential in our industry.
Bigger isn’t always better! As a destination management company focused on responsible and sustainable travel, we lean towards group sizes that allow us to adhere to these criteria. Our trips are focused on offering you and your clients an intimate experience. Eight-five travelers diving into a village is not sustainable, recommended, or intimate.
Essentially, we prefer to work with group sizes of 2 to 12 travelers. This, however, is dependent upon the group’s dynamics, focus, style, and goals. Ideally, for most of our trips, we prefer to outline this as 4 to 6 client rooms total and one private room for the tour leader/escort for companies offering group departures and who bring along their own tour escort. If you would like to bring more than 12 persons at one time and would still like to work with us, please contact us, but consider doing two trips at separate periods to meet your demand. For student groups and educational institutions, we can accommodate more persons, usually up to 16 student travelers in total.
Single Supplement & Twin Room Requests
Boutique accommodation establishments in Morocco do not offer reduced rates for single occupants. Those who travel and who would like to have a single supplement can expect to pay up to 40% (or more) of the trip cost in order to have their own room. We recommend you limit the amount of single supplements you allow to your group members to one to two single supplements per trip in total for a group of 8 or more persons. Please note that in most cases these same establishments do not have ample twin rooms available. So, we recommend you limit twin-room requests to no more than two twin rooms total per group.
8 persons sharing = 4 client rooms
*Minimum for tour leader/escort to travel FOC (see below).
8 persons sharing and 1 single supplement = 5 client rooms for 9 clients
6 persons sharing and 2 single supplements = 5 client rooms for 8 clients
8 persons sharing and 2 single supplements = 6 client rooms for 10 clients
Tour Escort/Leader Traveling for Free (FOC)
With our in-country partners, we offer a tour leader/escort to travel FOC at 8 adult travelers or more staying in at least four client rooms. Until this criteria is met, a tour escort/leader’s cost will be worked out over the cost of each group member and not quoted individually (unless requested). Only once 8 adult travelers reserve (staying in at least four client rooms) does the cost per group member decrease since the tour escort/leader’s room cost is then eliminated. A single supplement may apply to a group of odd-numbered travelers. Note that children are considered adult occupants from age 10 and above (verified with passport).
Timing, Terms, and Conditions
While we try to be flexible in order to meet the needs of our esteemed collaborators, we have developed the following system out of a need to provide clear guidelines and expectations to our partners. Please read the following carefully and let us know if you’d like to discuss any specific points. Once we have an established relationship with you as your destination management company, we can revisit these criteria to better meet your company’s needs. The following does not necessarily apply to FIT (custom) passengers, such as a family or a group of friends arranging a private trip. The following applies to group departures with set dates of travel.
For new partnerships we establish with other companies, we request a deposit of US $479 per person for any reservation. Once we have a working, longer-term relationship, we may no longer require deposits from our close partners. We recommend that you charge your clients a deposit fee to ensure they are serious about traveling with your organization. In some cases, we will have to request deposits if your focus is on more luxury or upper-level accommodations as these establishments often require greater deposit amounts from us, particularly for large groups. These deposits are generally non-refundable, though they can usually be applied to a future trip.
Final payments for group departures is 60 days or more before the trip start date. We will invoice you beforehand. If you will be paying for an entire group departure by credit card, please let us know at the time of itinerary development to avoid incurring extra charges at the time of final payment. Otherwise, we require a bank transfer to our US Business Bank Account, Euro Account, or GBP account in the UK. We have accounts in various currencies to facilitate speedy transfers.
We often quote in US Dollars (USD). Please indicate at the time of itinerary development that you’d like us to quote in another currency. We can only accept bank transfer (wire) payments in USD, Euro, and British Pounds Sterling (GBP). We will always keep the base priced in USD, so any significant currency devaluation may cause any other quoted currency cost to rise (which rarely happens). We do not accommodate currency value gains to lessen trip costs once quoted.
Trip Viability for Group Departures
We are able to hold rooms for our partners to ensure they have space for their planned excursions. It’s essential that you have your trip designed and advertised six months or more before your planned start date. We suggest having nine or more months of advance planning. A year or more in advance is recommended.
At the six-month mark: We will complete a “Trip Viability Report” to see if the trip is likely to happen. It’s at this point that we may decide to return up to half or more of any unused rooms to our accommodation partners so they can fill the slots with direct bookings. This is especially true for high-season periods (April, May, September, October, Easter, and Christmas).
At the three-month mark: We require final numbers. This is a final assessment to gauge reservations and release all unused rooms that were on hold for group departures.
NOTE: As long as the pandemic is with is, we expect their to be ample opportunity for last-minute tours. If you have a tour you would like to arrange that will leave in a month or less, do contact us and we’ll see what is possible.
We offer NET rates to each partner with whom we work. We then leave the remaining percentage open to your discretion. While we lower our margins significantly for our partners, you may find that our base costs are more than other quotes you might receive. We maintain margins that allow us to compensate our team above industry standards for their vital roles and performance. We focus on limited partnerships in order to hone our strategy on worthwhile collaborations.
Guides, Drivers, and Coordinators
Our drivers are more than something to shuttle clients around from place to place. Our drivers are an essential resource for our company, often working with trip leaders and travelers to adapt on the road to client demands. They are our first trouble-shooters, keys to the local culture, and acts as your cultural attache to ensure all runs smoothly. Alongside our incredible drivers, you and your clients will have the opportunity to enjoy expert certified guides (in cities) and coordinators (in rural areas) to bring each area to life, further opening doors to culture, history, and so much more.
We utilize Hyundai H1 Minivans for group of 2-5 adults. From 6-12 adult travelers, we use minibuses. Minibuses that can handle only up to 12 clients and 1 tour escort/leader comfortably. We cannot accommodate requests where each traveler would have their own extra seat unless your group’s size permits it.
We do not include entrance fees in any scenario. If your company would like to do so, please charge your clients accordingly (usually around $30 USD per traveler total is sufficient). The trip escort/leader can then carry a ‘trip float’ to pay for monument entrance fees.
Branding, Education, and RECCE & FAM Trips
We have informational packets, emails, and pre-departure packets that we send out to our travelers. We have created these materials to be brand-free when needed, where our logo and business name do not appear. We can send you these items upon request.
We are very keen to help you and your staff learn all about Morocco. We will do our best to help educate you and your staff about best practices and itinerary design. If you’d like to learn more about Morocco, we recommend that you send a staff member on a RECCE or FAM trip (which we can offer at cost, but not free) to learn about and explore Morocco, and to meet and learn from our in-country team. We can only offer a certain number of at-cost RECCE or FAM trips per year to some of our highly qualified potential partners.
Ground Operator Recognition, Conflict of Interest, and Competition
Most companies with whom we work as a Destination Management Company have no issue with sharing the name of their handpicked handler. This shows that you have qualified connections in the country and that your travelers will be in the best of hands. We do not attempt to advertise our name to clients before, during, or after a trip. In fact, your clients will probably never see our company name. If you’d prefer that the trip is run in your company’s name and solely branded in that way, we can accommodate such requests without issue.
While this has never been a matter of question, you can rest assured that we will not knowingly present our company to your competitors. Our focus is not on outreach, but having would-be partners contact us of their own accord. We do meet various companies at travel shows and may pursue a collaboration. We are not in the industry to create friction, but develop worthwhile connections. If you feel there may be a conflict of interest with anyone who we represent as a ground handler, please do let us know. If your company is able to send us a substantial amount of business each year, we will consider halting any relationship that hasn’t commenced.
Corporate Clients and Events
As this time, we are not focused on corporate clients or event handling.