Laurie Z. Stroll was recently appointed chairwoman of the DMC Network LLC, a consortium of 26 destination-management companies in North America. Stroll is the president and owner of Newport Hospitality Inc. She has been with Newport Hospitality for 20 years. Stroll also served as a board member for the Rhode Island Hospitality Association for nine years. She holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
PBN: What is a destination-management company, and how does a company become a member of the DMC Network LLC?
STROLL: Many people still do not truly understand what a destination-management company is. Some call us party planners or tour guides and others confuse us with a convention and visitors bureau. We are the logistic experts in a destination, and to be considered a true destination-management company by the Association of Destination Management Executives International definition one must be a professional services company specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.
There are strict standards to be selected as a DMC Network company. … If a company meets the initial requirements, an extensive application is submitted with letters of reference and verification of all criteria. If the application is accepted a site visit takes place by the managing director and at least one board member to interview the owner, meet their team and tour their office space. At that point a recommendation is made to the board of managers for a final vote of approval before welcoming a new member.
PBN: What are some goals you hope to achieve as chairwoman of DMC Network?
STROLL: My goal this year is to grow the DMC Network and expand our coverage of destinations throughout North America and beyond. After a site visit to Puerto Rico in March with our managing director to meet with two potential DMCs, I am happy to announce our most recently approved DMC partner, Destination Puerto Rico.
PBN: Are there any hospitality-industry developments you hope to see in the next year in Rhode Island?
STROLL: My hope is that we can repeal the sightseeing-tour tax and also keep the 2 percent tax on meals and beverage from being passed. These are two very detrimental taxes to the hospitality, meetings and convention and tourism industry. •