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The Value of Familiarisation Trips: A Win-Win for Travel Professionals and Destinations

Familiarisation trips, commonly known as ‘FAM’ trips, play a crucial role in the travel industry. These trips offer travel agents, media personnel, and travel influencers the opportunity to experience a destination or suppliers’ offerings first-hand. In this article, we will explore what familiarisation trips are and the benefits they offer for travel agents, media personnel, and the host travel provider. We will also highlight how the host can utilise the TripMapper for Business itinerary builder software to create comprehensive itineraries for their FAM trips, along with valuable tips for designing exceptional itineraries.

What are familiarisation trips?

FAM trips are carefully organised visits to a destination, typically sponsored by the host travel provider (destination management organisations ('DMOs'), tourism boards, tour operators, airlines or hotel chains) with the aim of providing its guests, usually travel agents, media personnel and travel influencers, with an immersive, educational experience. The purpose is for the host to educate their guests about their products, services or a destination and its offerings firsthand. The guests gain in-depth knowledge of the destination, which they can then share with their clients or audience.

Benefits of familiarisation trips for travel agents and media personnel

FAM trips provide first-hand experiences, deepen knowledge, strengthen industry relationships, and aim to generate positive publicity, benefitting both the host and the guests.

  • Enhanced destination and product/service knowledge: FAM trips provide travel agents and media personnel with first-hand experiences and insights into a destination's and/or provider’s offerings. This deepens their knowledge, enabling them to better advise and inform their clients or readers. By experiencing the destination first-hand, travel agents can create more tailored and engaging itineraries and packages for their clients.
  • Building travel industry connections: FAM trips facilitate face-to-face interactions between travel professionals and local suppliers, representatives, and other industry stakeholders. By engaging with industry partners during the trip, participants can establish relationships that can lead to future collaborations, exclusive partnerships, and better access to local resources.
  • Storytelling opportunities: Media personnel on FAM trips have the chance to uncover unique stories, capture stunning visuals, and gather compelling content that can be shared with their audience. This first-hand experience allows professionals to convey genuine enthusiasm and lends authenticity to their storytelling, making it more engaging.

Benefits of familiarisation trips for destination management organisations, tour operators and travel providers

  • Showcasing destination highlights: Arranging a FAM trip is a valuable marketing tool. FAM trips offer the host travel provider with the opportunity to showcase the best their service, product or destination has to offer.
  • Networking and collaboration: FAM trips foster networking opportunities between destination management organisations, tour operators or travel providers and travel professionals. These connections can lead to partnerships, increased visibility, and a wider distribution network for the destination, product or service.
  • Generating positive publicity: Hosting FAM trips for media personnel can generate valuable publicity and media coverage. Impressing and inspiring the guests during a FAM trip could lead to first-rate reviews and recommendations. Positive reviews, articles, and social media posts about the destination, product or service can significantly impact its reputation, attract more visitors, and increase sales.
Image by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Image by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Image by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Image by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Using TripMapper for Business for creating familiarisation trip Itineraries

TripMapper for Business is an itinerary builder software for tour operators and destination management organisations. By utilising the itinerary builder and carefully designing beautiful itineraries, the host can showcase the best they have to offer in a unique, engaging and inspiring way. Here's how:

  • Curated itineraries: TripMapper for Business is the best tour operator software to use to curate visually stunning travel itineraries tailored to the specific goals of the FAM trip. Our tour operator software provides a user-friendly interface for organising activities, attractions, accommodations, and transportation options, ensuring a seamless planning process.
  • Collaborative features: TripMapper for Business is also a great solution because tour operators and DMOs can collaborate with the guests. In addition to the planned items, the guests can add their own items to the itinerary if they have free time during the FAM trip. This collaboration enhances engagement, personalisation and builds excitement.
  • Real-time updates: The platform enables the hosts to provide guests with important information and changes during the FAM trip. This ensures that guests have the most up-to-date details ensuring a smooth planning process.

Tips for creating exceptional familiarisation trip itineraries

  • Understand guest objectives: Gather information about the interests and goals of the guests to ensure the itinerary aligns with their profile and expectations. If guests are media personnel, review their previous publications and craft experiences that they will find appealing and will want to share in their publications.
  • Provide thorough itineraries as soon as possible in the planning process: This will allow your FAM trip guests to raise any questions ahead of time.
  • Balance variety and depth: Provide a mix of popular attractions and lesser-known gems to showcase the destination's highlights while offering unique experiences.
  • Engage with local experts: Collaborate with local guides, experts, and representatives who can provide insider knowledge and deliver authentic experiences.
  • Be mindful of guests' time: When creating the itinerary, consider their time during the trip. Strive for a good mix of activities, educational events, and relaxation time.
  • Collect feedback: Encourage guests to provide feedback after the trip, which can help refine future itineraries and improve the overall experience.
Image by The Anam on Unsplash

Image by The Anam on Unsplash

Familiarisation trips can serve as an invaluable tool for tour operators, tourism boards, and destination management organisations. By leveraging our tour operator system, TripMapper for Business, as an itinerary builder for their familiarisation trips, it will enhance the overall experience for guests and in turn, generate positive publicity and increased sales.

Tour operators, tourism boards and destination management organisations, book a demo of the TripMapper for Business platform or sign up for a FREE 10-day trial now!