10 years of DCB Tourism and Local Development

This year we mark the 10th anniversary of the DCB Turisme i Desenvolupament Local foundation!

DCB did not come up overnight, more likely it was an evolution and a cluster of situations that led to the creation of the consultancy. In fact, both Josep Capellà and Inma Ballbé had devoted part of their professional career to provide technical assistance to various organizations linked to tourism. Throughout 2008, a large number of projects emerged -such as a market research for Itinerànnia, a network of hiking territories- which entailed the need to shape a more structured service provision based on a consultancy in order to offer successful results to a growing demand.

This is how DCB Turisme i Desenvolupament local was born: a family business with a scaled down core staff that uses networking to have a specific professionals for each project and each need. To give some figures, DCB has worked with more than twenty external experts and is now happy to confirm that tasks vary as much as projects. Thus, DCB has collaborated with geographers, environmentalists, experts in tourism, layout or design, economists, translators,  or landscape architects. With these experts we have participated in European programs, in the commercialization of tourist products, in strategic and territorial planning, in marketing and in new technologies, etc. This kind of organization has allowed a new methodology to develop and has established a climate of confidence with better results.

As for students, around 15 have passed through here. DCB attempts to juggle their training with a practical implementation, remunerated by ethical principles. Of course, the learning is mutual: a student contributes from his knowledge and provides a fresh and energetic attitude, as well as new points of view. In addition, the experience may be used as a springboard and, regarding the company, a good way indeed to constantly upgrade personnel and thus achieve different opinions and advice. Likewise, Ignasi Capellà and the rest of the young collaborators have helped keep an updated view of the tourism sector, which has made work easier and has sped up the introduction of new technologies. DCB has always envisaged the need to adapt to global trends and to not lose sight of the new movements and technologies entering the markets. Thanks to these premises, the company has grown versatile and has therefore been able to work in many environments, without limits or labels of any kind. Their level of involvement has always been high, which has increased the engagement of every single project by taking different roles.

Thanks to this network, DCB has carried out many remarkable projects. In general, their scope of action focuses on Catalonia; in particular on the Pyrenees, the Terres de l’Ebre and the region of Girona. Nevertheless, they have also worked with a score of municipalities such as Barcelona, Figueres, La Bisbal d’Empordà, La Pobla de Segur, Figaró-Montmany, Begur, Palafrugell, Banyoles, El Prat del Llobregat…, usually with district councils, county councils and various departments of the Generalitat of Catalonia, such as Tourism, Culture, Territory and Sustainability, and Agriculture and Fisheries. Similarly, DCB has provided advice to European networks such as Retecork and has also carried out teaching activities, either as professors in postgraduate courses of the Universitat de Girona or the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, or participating in conferences and professional seminars in Asturias, Balearic Islands, Extremadura, Andalusia, France and Latin America, among others.

However, what is the work of tourism consutlants? As many might have guessed, their job is not restricted to specific tasks, but it varies from project to project. DCB’s activities go from offering ongoing advice to entities in order to develop a tourism dynamization strategy, to design specific action plans, cooperation structures with public and private action and to help develop ideas and products based on successful proposals. They have further carried on work to create and define new local or supra-municipal tourism entities in order to define statutes, criteria, objectives and strategic lines of work, funding search, selection of partners… Also, DCB has been engaged in the elaboration of guides and support manuals for tourism entities ans agents in the preparation and management of projects for national and European funding calls.

One of the most consolidated lines of work is the advice to tourism entrepreneurs who seek to adapt to niche markets -always focusing on sustainability, nature tourism, natural and protected areas, networking and responsible tourism whcih motto is “better places to live, better places to be visited”. In this regard, more than 200 companies, organizations and entrepreneurs have been counseled by DCB’s professionals among them the promoters of the El Cinquè Llac, Delta Polet, the Benifallet Station and the cycling companies in Terres de l’Ebre, the Nautical Centre of L’Estartit, Montgrí Natural Park, Medes Islands and Baix Ter, Alt Empordà Turisme and its associates, etc.

One of the feature that sets DCB apart from other tourism consultants is the pursuit of trends and the following of European markets. This determination allows them to own a knowledge base that is of very great interest to companies and destinations. Thus, for example, DCB studies how operators and specialized travel agencies behave in different niches to find out what and how are selling, to what target, at what price, how they present it…

To mention a few examples, DCB has been involved in 3 cross-border projects of the Interreg Poctefa call, where they have provided ideas, helped in the selection process of partners and also in the coordination of the call’s presentation -eventual winners-, such as the GPS Tourism project.

As mentioned above, when maintaining this specialization in a cross-cutting area like sustainable tourism, the services are turned into global products while opening up opportunities.

The main goal of DCB Desenvolupament i Turisme Local is to shine a light on sustainable tourism models with a global vision, including environment, quality of life, responsible consumption, the impact of climate change and sustainability, generally speaking. That poses a challenge and, at the same time, a chance for territories and operators to fit. With 10 years of perspective, DCB can assure that no one expected the career path to be so fruitful and with so many good experiences.

Article: DCB Tourism and Local Development @DCBTurisme

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