What’s New in Travel Agent FAM Visits

FAM outings have constantly had serious benefit, and nonetheless do. Usually, shoppers have faith in a travel advisor’s suggestions about a potential holiday vacation considerably more if the advisor has experienced individual working experience with the destination, resort, or cruise, or if a colleague in the agency has experienced that initial-hand working experience and shared their perception.

But, like almost everything in travel, FAM visits have been reinvented and continue on to evolve and roll with the punches.

Hashtag #vacation
One particular of the most important changes in FAMs—social media is the new have-on baggage, and journey advisors are typically inspired, even asked for, to participate.

“FAMs have altered a good deal in the final several yrs,” claims Jonathan de Araujo, proprietor of The Vacationeer Vacation Agency, which specializes in Disney, Common, and cruise vacation. “There’s a much larger sized target on social media now. Most vendors want you to publish on social as much as possible when you’re viewing their properties.”

Advisors are typically asked to use selected hashtags when posting, so the benefits of the FAM vacation can be tracked.

“At the conclusion of the working day, FAMs are marketing for the vendor, and like any other promoting, they will need to be in a position to clearly show a return on expense,” states de Araujo.

Vacation 101
And, although FAM journeys are, of training course, continue to enjoyment and exciting, with options to practical experience magnificent places and resorts, these days FAMs also have a tendency to also be much more instructional.

“In the past, structured FAM visits were being a enjoyment way to introduce advisors to your product in a really managed way,” stated Steve Spivak, Tauck’s Vice President, Global Revenue, and Reservations, who noted the corporation finished arranged FAMs in 2013.

“Advisors obtained a glimpse into the manufacturer but not genuinely the knowledge a guest would have and not in a way that would make skills, a long lasting connection, or an knowledge of the legitimate experiential distinction from just one products to the subsequent.”

So, ten several years ago, the business introduced Tauck Academy, a hybrid solution to regular familiarization journeys. “We desired to build the exact enjoyment and partaking setting as a FAM but with a measurable long lasting reward for the advisors and for Tauck,” states Spivak. “We grew to become considerably much more facts-pushed and collaborative with company house owners in the attendee variety course of action and developed a curriculum that would support the advisor create their business not just with Tauck but with any product or service that was the ideal suit for their consumers.”

Spivak claims the notion was to aid the advisor to turn into much better at internet marketing, prospecting, and closing and much more astute at matching their clients to the ideal experience no make a difference what that is. And, he claims, they want to demonstrate the advisor what it’s like to vacation with Tauck, so academy experiences are commonly held in Tauck accommodations or onboard Tauck river ships.

“Our aim is for advisors to experience what our attendees feel when they vacation but to be ready to do it in a 3-working day Academy plan with nine hrs of classroom content,” says Spivak.

Advisors who full Tauck Academy are offered the option to vacation with a guest—and as a guest—aboard one particular of Tauck’s river ships, says Spivak. Each and every calendar year, approximately a hundred advisors are hosted. “We know the finest advisors sell from practical experience and we want that experience to be as reliable as possible,” he suggests.

Sustainable FAMs
There’s also a potent force to introduce advisors to the neighborhood lifestyle for special ordeals alternatively than just touring the well-liked websites and points of interest.

“FAM excursions are an vital aspect of a journey advisor’s occupation,” suggests Balaram Thapa, director/travel advisor, of Nepal Climbing Staff

“They assist us gain priceless insights into the destinations we endorse, letting us to much better tell our guests’ requires and expectations.”

“This calendar year, we assume to see a change toward a lot more sustainable and dependable vacation selections on FAM visits,” states Thapa.

”The demand for sustainable tourism carries on to improve, and we will be equipped to accessibility more eco-helpful encounters, this sort of as all those focusing on minimizing single-use plastic or promoting locally sourced merchandise. Moreover, advisors can hope to practical experience a lot more immersive cultural and local community-primarily based activities, such as homestays and volunteering assignments.”

Staffing troubles
Find Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has hosted FAMs for 25-as well as many years, says Chris Ackerman, director of sales, Uncover Lancaster.

One particular challenge in latest decades that has been, and proceeds to be, is that a staffing scarcity throughout the hospitality market has also impacted FAMs.

“Staffing issues have built it challenging for individuals to get out of the business to just take a FAM journey,” says Ackerman.

Lancaster has pivoted and partnered with a trade publication to support in scheduling and arranging a multi-assembly planner FAM, says Ackerman, and is also giving far more ‘specific’  tailored FAMs for all those requesting individualized exploratory visits, he suggests.

Ackerman features these 3 items of suggestions for vacation /advisors fascinated in participating in an approaching FAM in Lancaster—and somewhere else:


  • Discover distinctive experiences, “off the beaten path” in a spot
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  • Go where by the locals go
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  • Be versatile owing to the hospitality business staffing difficulties
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