“Leading Edge IN TRAVEL – innovation, people, growing strong”
1. The back story
It was a dream come true that all started back in 1998. The idea of DT was clear: to be the best, no.1 service agency with loyal and local partners for exclusive groups and events in the area of ex-Yugoslavia! We started with a number of “innovations” that made our business grow by listening to market needs and trends and implementing those in the everyday life of our company with a focus on the satisfaction of…not only our clients, but also our team members! The strategic team members that recognised DT quality are still with us today and happily working together on the future of DT business – they are the soul of DT, the meeting warriors who have waged many battles for the success of DT. The people of DT are the most important asset we have and we will always have them on the front page of any “DT news” that circulates around the world. They are the leaders we worship and DT is proud of its team, today recognised as regional experts with our DT strategy that, unfortunately, many now want to copy. Our Meet-jitsu secrets have been copied and stolen many times too, but for sure, the Spirit of the DT Temple has remained at home, even stronger, and stays where it belongs. Indeed, every form of competition seems to come and go, and after 17 years of steady and sustainable growth we can for sure say that we always slept with one eye open, and that’s how we are now too, always awake and ready to act. In 2005 we felt the moment was right and we partnered with the strongest DMC in Montenegro, Talas-M, so today our companies still work under own brands but we are together and stronger than ever. We have behind us numerous events, groups, meetings, incentives – we share happy clients with great experiences that are the most valuable thing to us, our golden marketing tool and the selling point of DT that no-one can take and that we can always retain! In 2014 Talas-M and DT Croatia launched a new company in Serbia, Belgrade – Talas S DMC, and in 2015 DT Croatia partnered with a well known and very strong Slovenian expert in travel business and formed DT Slovenia, with headquarters in Ljubljana and a branch office in Portoroz. We are also strategic partners with other DMCs in other countries where we don’t have offices. Other systems and strong partnerships that we are proud to be partner of is Euromic, Ovation, Body&Soul International, DUDMC, Destico, SB Mice, DMS Marketing, Klass, DMCRep and Platinum.
2. Top talk with Daniel Marušić
Q: Which projects have defined your business success?
Definitely high-end incentive groups from various markets, every time having to learn new standards and demanding clients with a cause, and making both sides happy with the outcome. After the war it was tough in our region to get the high standards delivered from suppliers, but we made it happen; we educated, shared knowledge, invested time and money with most of them and laid the path for their success today, with other business and DMCs coming in much later just to enjoy the cream on top, but why not, the client is free to choose and many of them who sometimes choose wrongly ask us at the end to help them out – and we’ve seen many of these over the years! There was so much work in the past to get the destination appreciated by the world of MICE – that was our number one task. Today other challenges lie before us; today we battle with technology, new ideas, new rules of the business and, once again, the competition that lowers the prices and quality of the destination just to make overnight profits. But we have seen, as I said, a lot come and go. It’s hard to be no.1, but it’s even harder and more difficult to keep the no.1 position for as long as we have done – but we know it’s the only way! No sleep: create, innovate!
Q: What are the current priorities for DT Croatia?
DT team members are always our priority.
Q: How does Dubrovnik inspire your work?
Dubrovnik is the bridge to the world for DT, when we gave the original name Dubrovnik Travel to the company many people congratulated us, saying so simple but so important for business, at that time Dubrovnik was more famous than Croatia, and in some markets it still is. Dubrovnik is the cradle of international meetings and incentives in our area, and we can only play strong at home, very strong – a level of DMC services impossible to imagine, safe, secure, perfect delivery, with no obstacles, but just one limit: the budget!
Q: How would you define the philosophy of DT Croatia?
DT Croatia has never been happy to be just a ‘good’ DMC – we want and we work hard to be the perfect regional DMC.
3. Facts & Figures
- Long-term clients: World known Incentive houses, Leading global Meeting planners, Group Travel & Event Agencies from major world markets. Leaders match with leaders.
- Organised conferences and incentives: On average we provide services for 5-10 bigger conferences per year, and more than 60-70 incentive programmes.
- Biggest incentive group: several times we have had big incentive groups of 500-600 people. Different profiles, different goals and standards. All groups were fantastic!
- Number of employees: 40
- Number of offices: Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split and since early 2015 DT Slovenia in Ljubljana and Portorož.
1998 – started working as a private and independent business company
2000 – changed strategy and became the first officially recognized international DMC for Croatia
2005 – made partnership with strongest DMC in Montenegro, Talas – M
2007 – awarded by Business.hr as one of the fastest growing companies in Croatia
2010 – received quality control certification ISO 9001-2008
2011 – received the Best small-size company award in the county issued by the Dubrovnik chamber of commerce
2014 –launching a new company in Serbia, Belgrade – Talas–S; and forming a new company in Slovenia – DT Slovenia
2015 – DT Croatia becomes an AAA credit worthy certificate holder and nominated as the best mid-size company of the county
SB Mice 2002, Klass 2003, Destico 2008, DUDMC 2009, ICCA 2009, Euromic 2010, Platinum 2010, Ovation 2011, DMS Marketing 2011, Body&Soul International 2013 and DMCRep 2014
5. Things to come
What are you working on now?
At this stage we are working on several small and big projects for 2016 and 2017, plus numerous requests that come to us daily, and we must mention a big – a huge! – event to come soon in early 2016, the largest project that ever will be made in this area, Croatia and the region. DT has been chosen for this project to be the solution provider for all local logistics and out-of-hotel services. DT was scanned and went through a rigorous business process to get this opportunity to be part of this very soon will-be-well known important and historical event for our destination. Our Slovenia office is also working on a very interesting project for spring 2016, but not yet confirmed. This will also be something very interesting for DT Slovenia and for the future of the event business on the sunny side of the alps!
IVANA MARUŠIĆ ZUBOVIĆ
Ivana Marusic Zubovic was brought up in a family that was always involved in tourism, leaving little doubt as to what her career choice would be. Seeing the challenges overcome by her country in the past decades to then rise to the position of one of the most popular destinations has contributed to her passion for sales and promoting the destination and region as a whole. Working with people, creating unique experiences for them and providing them with unforgettable memories is life’s call and she has been doing this at DT Croatia for the past 10 years. As Sales Director, she is active in mentoring and teaching new DT stars, conveying her enthusiasm and full commitment to projects, teaching that being there from the start to the execution of the project, knowing your clients and their needs, is of the greatest importance, because there is no greater feeling nor reward than when upon the client’s departure from your country they tell you it has been the best programme they’ve ever participated in.
Taja Maček, a managing partner in DT Slovenia and newest member of the DT family, has grown alongside the tourism industry for most of her life. Working within the family and learning from experiences in the field has resulted in her full commitment to quality and creativity. Bolstered by an education in conceptual art as well as a Master programme in heritage and tourism she strives to present Slovenia’s regional diversity through amazing incentive programmes. In order to deliver the best you need to get to know your client, meeting new people and working with clients from around the world, which provides the extra energy to keep creating unique products that connect the local environment on a global level. When this balance is reached, satisfaction is ensured. DT Slovenia is a fresh and vibrant new sister of the well-established DT Croatia and opened its doors earlier in 2015.
ALEKSANDRA BOŽOVIĆ MARLAIS
Alex Bozovic Marlais has been with the DT Croatia team for more than a decade now. After working one summer for DT in Dubrovnik she fell in love with the region & the travel industry and decided to take the leap and move from her native New York to Croatia. She works closely with DT’s other offices in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Serbia to promote the entire region for events. After all these years of planning events, she is still excited to share with clients all the hidden gems and beautiful destinations the region has to offer for meeting and incentives. With the rest of the DT team she shares a desire to do her best and work hard for her clients. She finds herself inspired by her colleagues and partners on a daily basis and loves the challenge of working with them to create an unforgettable event. The goal is simple: a perfect event.