Welcome to The DMC Advantage

The DMC Advantage offers a fresh perspective to sales and marketing for DMCs to the UK conference and incentive market. Our ethos is to work with the most creative, friendly, understanding, cost-effective, flexible Destination Management Companies across the globe. You’ve heard that before? Well our considerable experience selling DMC services means we know who the best are, we talk to our industry clientele for their opinions, we tailor solutions based on your needs. We know our market, we know our destinations. Our unbiased opinions are based on experience.

If, like us, you want creative, cost-effective, flexible solutions for your events, go no further. Drop us a line or give us a call!

James Dowson

James Dowson - About UsJames Dowson started his career with Trailfinders, the independent travel agency in 1996. The Trailfinder ethic is to sell based on unbiased advice, helpful and friendly service. While learning the sales role it also gave James a passion for the industry while travelling widely across the globe.

In 2001 James joined Emirates Airline as Sales Executive, first in a leisure market role but very soon taking on the newly created position of MICE Sales Executive. It was here that James developed a deep understanding of the UK conference and incentive market as well as forge lasting client relationships. James helped build the airline’s reputation for excellent understanding of groups’ needs and set the benchmark for group services emulated by many other airlines today.

After 4 very enjoyable years there followed a role as Senior Sales Manager MICE with Sofitel Hotels where James managed key accounts as well as fostered his passion for opening doors to new clients.

From 2006, James was selling the services of world-class DMCs with MM and Company until the launch of The DMC Advantage in September 2014. After 9 years the portfolio has grown to represent DMCs in 4 continents, their quality reflected in industry awards, the excellent service DMC Advantage pride ourselves on reflected back in repeat business from loyal clients and friends. “Nobody can say running a business is easy but it is made easier by working in an industry I enjoy immensely and with partners I take pride in representing!”

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Simon Burleigh

Simon Burleigh Director DMC AdvantageSimon graduated from the University of Northumbria in 2001 with a 2:1 BA Honours degree in Travel and Tourism Management.  In his university placement year working for McGarvey Russell, a leading events agency, Simon got hooked on the buzz and excitement of conference and incentive travel. On graduating he rejoined the company cutting his teeth organising international conferences, incentives and events, travelling far and wide. Subsequently Simon worked in event planning and operational roles at Universal CIT and Grass Roots furthering his travel experience and industry skills.

In 2006 Simon joined representation company Avenue Sales and Marketing as C&I Sales Director for the Corinthia Hotels account. During this period Simon honed his account management skills and started to build up an impressive, loyal and trusting client base amongst the industry’s leading event agencies, realising that the sales side of the industry was his calling.

Simon then entered the world of DMC representation joining MM and Company in 2010 where he managed client accounts promoting the DMC portfolio. In 2013 Simon moved into the corporate DMC arena as Director of Global Sales for AlliedPRA, responsible for the UK and EMEA markets and managing the UK sales team before joining The DMC Advantage in March 2015.

Simon always conducts business with honesty, integrity and professionalism. With great attention to detail and passion for delivering the highest level of service to clients, Simon works with the team to position The DMC Advantage as the representation company of choice.

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Cathy Joyce

Cathy Joyce Sales Director DMC AdvantageCathy Joyce, originally from Ireland, embarked on her career journey in 2001 at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Limerick. During her tenure there, she worked in various departments, ultimately completing the Radisson Hotel Management Programme. In parallel, she pursued her educational aspirations, earning a Diploma at HSI Business College in Sales, Marketing, Advertising, and PR.

In 2009, Cathy embarked on a year-long adventure to Australia. Upon her return, she joined Citywest Hotel, Conference & Event Centre in Dublin as Sales Manager, she quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Director of Sales – MICE in 2014. During her time at Citywest, Cathy was a vital part of the Meet in Ireland Team, a collective of over 40 suppliers who travelled extensively across the United States and Europe, promoting Ireland as a premier destination for meetings and events. Cathy considers this experience as the foundation of her career in the MICE industry. It was during this period that she developed a profound passion for travelling and working on a global scale.

After five wonderful years in Dublin, Cathy was offered the opportunity to move to Abu Dhabi and take on the role of Director of Sales – Groups at The Ritz-Carlton for a two-year tenure before joining Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, one of the world’s most renowned luxury hotels as Director of Sales.

In 2019, Cathy returned to London and joined Melia Hotels International as Global Sales Director – MICE. In this role, she was responsible for driving the UK Market outbound on behalf of 360 hotels across six brands in 40 destinations. Cathy’s dedication lies in crafting and delivering exceptional event experiences. She collaborated closely with key stakeholders including event planners, corporate clients, Destination Management Companies and tourist boards to ensure the seamless execution of MICE programs.

In 2022, Cathy’s journey led her to Hyatt Hotels, where she assumed the role of Director of Sales for the iconic Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. Her focus primarily revolved around selling to the US inbound market before she transitioned to DMC Advantage in 2023.

Cathy’s true passion resides within the Global Sales MICE market, particularly in looking after the UK Market. She is a consummate professional with a genuine passion for the hospitality industry. Cathy is unwaveringly committed to ensuring her clients have the most exceptional experience, and she approaches every event with a steadfast dedication to success.

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Introducing the Support team:

Lucy Dowson began her travel industry career at Trailfinders in 1996 following a year’s marketing and sales placement with British Airways. In 1999 she joined Dnata (later Emirates Holidays) in a sales role before a position selling the Fairmont Dubai to the UK corporate market. This corporate experience served her well during her 3 years at The Langham London where she focussed on both corporate meetings and events sales and transient accounts. Her recent experience has been in a number of sales, marketing and administrative roles at De Vere Venues Latimer Place.

Tim Penrose started his career in travel with USIT Campus, selling adventure travel to the youth market after been bitten by the travel bug himself on a round the world trip. In 2000 he joined Emirates Tours in a Sales Support role, before moving into the Sales & Marketing team. Developing an understanding of the luxury end of travel, he became more involved in the online arena and producing the high-end content required for the brand’s growth. From 2008 he was responsible for the day to day success of the company website, overseeing the launch of the fully bookable site and the re-branding to Emirates Holidays. Joining in December 2015, Tim’s marketing role at The DMC Advantage covers a wide remit ensuring there is never a dull moment in our ever-evolving corner of the UK MICE world.