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Ever wondered what goes into planning FAM trips? These familiarization trips allow travel advisors to experience destinations firsthand, build relationships with suppliers, and gain valuable knowledge to better serve their clients. However, the planning and execution of a FAM is often underestimated, and there are certain do’s and don’ts that advisors should be aware of to ensure a successful experience.

Selecting Advisors To Ensure ROI To Suppliers

To ensure the success of Familiarization (FAM) trips, travel suppliers take a discerning approach to selecting travel advisors. They begin by setting clear trip objectives and then carefully choose advisors who bring various levels of experience to the group. Suppliers also look for advisors who specialize in selling the specific product they’re educating on, ensuring they have the right book of business. Another important factor is balancing personalities within the group to create a cohesive dynamic, where different traits complement each other, fostering a positive and productive atmosphere throughout the trip.

The Cost To The Advisor

The cost for a travel advisor to attend a Familiarization (FAM) trip can vary widely. Many FAM trips are offered complimentary by suppliers, covering expenses such as accommodation and meals. Some may involve cost-sharing, where advisors pay a reduced fee to cover certain expenses. Additional expenses like flights, travel insurance, and personal costs should also be considered. It’s crucial for advisors to review trip terms and communicate with the supplier to understand the financial arrangement for each FAM trip opportunity, as well as to evaluate whether the cost to their business aligns with their annual budget properly.

The Cost To The Supplier

From the supplier’s or representation firm’s point of view, organizing Familiarization (FAM) trips is like making an important investment in building strong bonds with travel advisors. It covers various essentials like accommodations, meals, transportation, and activities for attending advisors. However, it’s good to remember that nothing in the supply chain truly comes for free. Beyond the obvious expenses, there are hidden costs to consider, such as the staff needed to organize and support the FAM trip, maintaining facilities, and the potential income from rooms that could have been booked by paying guests. But despite these costs, FAM trips are seen as a smart marketing investment. They have the potential to generate bookings and nurture long-term relationships with travel advisors, which ultimately contributes to the supplier’s ongoing success.

Showing Appreciate Through Etiquette

When you’re on a Familiarization (FAM) trip as a travel advisor, being mindful of proper etiquette helps create a friendly and respectful atmosphere. It’s a good idea to avoid discussing competitive hotels or vendors during site visits to show appreciation for the hosting supplier. Being on time is a simple yet essential way to respect the supplier’s schedule and the planned activities. If tipping is customary in the destination, consider doing so as a way to show gratitude to the staff for their services. Don’t hesitate to engage actively by asking questions during presentations and site inspections; it demonstrates your interest and professionalism. Overall, following these etiquettes not only helps build your reputation but also strengthens your relationship with the supplier, making for a more enjoyable and productive FAM trip.

Tune in to episode 60 to hear about this topic from Tara and Jamie from Wanderluxe Destinations!

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