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A FAM trip stands for "familiarization trip" and is an incentive to be in the travel industry. FAM trips are exclusive educational trips for travel agents, media personnel and retailers. These familiarization trips provided by travel companies such as tour operators, accommodation providers, touristic regions, municipalities and others, allow them to experience their services and destinations first-hand.
FAM trips are an opportunity to familiarize agents and media personnel with the destination and immerse them in the local culture, introduce them to local operators and highlight the benefits the company offers, essentially taking them backstage. For example, they may have the opportunity to meet a famous chef they would like to have recommended their clients to.
The usual people featured on these trips are travel agents, suppliers and media partners such as journalists, editors, influencers and tour operators. These individuals are necessary to the success of countless travel businesses, and as a travel supplier and operator, you are looking to build a long-term working relationship with them. The objective is to follow the main influencers in the sector and invite people who are relevant to the success of their sector. These invites might attract a travel agent you've worked with in the past, with whom you want to enhance your relationship or present new offers, or a new potential client who has recently come under your radar and who can help you land new business.
While FAM voyages are always changing and evolving and differing by business, tour operators, cruise lines and hotels interested in showing their points of interest often provide everything for these voyages. FAM trips are, for the most part, fully sponsored invitation-only events, unless partnered with a car rental company or airline. Sponsorships are customary because the host provides money or product in exchange for your visit.
Familiarization trips offer numerous benefits to participants. The main benefit of FAM travel is that it allows travel agents and other providers in the travel industry to get the ideal first-hand experience. This involvement allows them to better understand the many benefits that different types of travel excursions offer their customers. As a result, they can provide better services and perfect vacations to their clients based on their wants and needs, and effectively inform their clients of what they can expect. In addition, media personnel, travel writers and editors, and photographers can gain first-hand experience that can help provide better content, detail, and photography for your future publications. These trips provide journalists with opportunities to develop custom stories that they may want to develop further. For example, the trip might introduce them to a chef who has a fascinating life story or recipe to share.
A further benefit is that FAM travel guests can expand their professional network by building connections with other travel agents, vendors and media personnel; most FAM trips involve downtime to relax with other professionals. This schedule allows them to network with industry experts and exchange stories about what has worked for their businesses. By developing lasting relationships with travel operators and suppliers, they will also acquire better deals for themselves and their future customers.
Organizing a "familiarization trip" is a valuable marketing tool. As a host of a FAM trip, one benefit is that you can generate new leads and business for your company. By allowing these professionals to gain first-hand experience with your products, they will better understand and share the benefits of your travel offers with their customers. When it comes to the benefits of hosting media people, you're improving media coverage; travel writers and photographers participate in these trips to photograph their offers and compose content. If you can impress and inspire your guests during a FAM trip, then you should be able to generate first-class reviews and recommendations for your travel business. For example, invite an Editor-in-Chief on a FAM trip to their destination. The Editor-in-Chief benefits from a custom trip with a luxury angle and publishes over 20 full pages of material about the destination and included it on the cover. Customers will be very grateful for these results and the benefits of these results will be worth more than five times the overall cost of the FAM trip!
After talking to some of our employees about their customers' FAM travel success stories, we've put together a few things we think you should consider when planning your FAM travel:
You should research and plan the trip and itinerary during the FAM trip planning phase in accordance with your media people and travel agent profiles. Look at their past posts and create activities they will find engaging, handcrafted experiences with various "wow factors" that they can share in their posts. Remember, it's up to your guest what gets posted; not everything they experience will be incorporated.
Provide complete itineraries and travel information as early as possible in the planning process; this will allow guests on your FAM trip to raise any concerns or questions in advance and allow you to personalize your stay very well.
When crafting a detailed itinerary for your guests, you should also be mindful of the time they spend on their trip; you should offer a good balance of activities and educational events with free time to relax and breathe.
Finally, draw up a contingency plan; keep in mind that not everything will go as planned. It would be safer to prepare for anything from a guest canceling at the last minute to flight cancellations, emergencies or lockdowns. But then again, it's better to overplan.
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