FAM Trips: Are the right people using them?

FAM Trips (familiarisation trips) are free or low-cost trips or tours offered to travel agents by a supplier or group of suppliers to familiarise the agents with their destination and services. Who wouldn’t want to try out a hotel, restaurant, or destination for free?

However, there is a catch…trips are often provided by a travel operator or airline as a means of promoting their services to the max. For instance, a group of hotels in Slovenia may partner with an airline to offer a discount FAM trip to their hotels or to Slovenia, but you will have to stick with their plan, tours, and activities during the visit.

There is an argument that operators are too lenient with FAM trips, and they need to be revisited or re-evaluated. Are the right people, in the right places, from the right companies using them?

5 reasons why FAM trips are so useful to businesses:

  • Help to build knowledge of a destination (research tool)
  • Chance to experience a destination or venue first hand
  • Opportunity to see what a venue has to offer
  • Able to network and meet with fellow industry colleagues
  • A “try before you buy” scenario, experience it then sell it onto the client

There’s plenty of reasons to go on FAM Trips, and registration hosted buyer places are available on any of the shows for example IMEX or EIBTM or even Confex, however, detailed information is required to prove you’ve done adequate business. Despite this, there are some attendees of FAM Trips who aren’t there for business and fabricate the truth in order to get a ‘freebie’.

Dubai 4

Does more need to be done to sanction the right attendees?

5 checks for FAM Trip organisers:

  • Check the credentials of attendees
  • Research the business they are from
  • Look to see how much work they’ve done within the industry
  • Check their clientele
  • Double check the information they provide

FAM Trips should be seen as a privilege and it shouldn’t be an easy process to get onto one. There should be background checks and thorough research otherwise the companies lose out, and people who would have been better attending may not get the opportunity to.

Know the industry you are in, and target the right people, then the right people will be on your FAM Trips.

Ryan Curtis-Johnson

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