What is a Travel Agent Familiarization Trip (FAM)?
We’ve all heard the saying, “Knowledge is power,” and that is especially true in the travel industry. The more knowledge you have about a travel product, the better equipped you are to offer the expert advice your clients appreciate. Brochures, websites, and training seminars are all useful tools. But understanding the product you are selling involves more than glossy pictures, and goes beyond facts and figures. Experiencing a destination in person brings the information to life in a way like no other.
One of the easiest ways to gain real-life travel experience is by going on a familiarization trip, more commonly known as a FAM trip. These reduced-rate trips are specially designed packages that allow travel agents to visit the most popular destinations, resorts, and cruise ships. FAM trips may be offered by tourist boards, hotel chains, or any other supplier that recognizes how much first-hand knowledge benefits the agents that are selling their products. In addition, KHM Travel Group partners with top travel companies to offer exclusive FAM trips, with information tailored specifically to the needs of their home-based travel agents.
What happens on a FAM trip? Most often, a FAM will include tours of multiple hotels and resorts. At each property you will see samples of various room categories, as well as public areas like restaurants, kids’ clubs, pools, and spas. You will have the opportunity to take pictures or video that you can share with your clients upon your return.
Your FAM trip will likely include training sessions offered by the trip’s sponsor. These sessions provide education about the product, marketing tools available, and other valuable advice … Just what any travel agent needs in order to return home filled with enthusiasm and ready to increase your sales! And you might even manage to squeeze in a little fun too, at a cocktail party, VIP dinner, or on an excursion to a local attraction.
Another fantastic benefit of a FAM trip is the opportunity to network with other travel agents. As you get to know the other agents traveling with you, you’ll be able to share stories, ideas, and ways to overcome the challenges you’re facing. You may also develop relationships with key supplier personnel and resort staff, who often provide valuable support of your travel business.
FAM trips aren’t limited to land-based travel, either. Cruise lines often sponsor ship inspections. These tours allow agents to view staterooms, deck layouts, entertainment venues, and often include a chance to sample the cuisine at one of the ship’s restaurants. For an even more in-depth experience, you might consider a Seminar at Sea, which allows you to set sail on a scheduled itinerary at a discounted rate. These cruises offer training sessions to expand your product knowledge, as well as the chance to enjoy the amenities and activities on-board and in each port.
Agents returning from a FAM trip often find themselves energized, inspired, and armed with the information and experience needed to grow their business to a whole new level.
KHM Travel agents can look under “Meetings and Events” in their agent portal to view upcoming FAM opportunities.
Not a KHM Travel agent yet? Call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260 (ext. 101) and/or visit KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your own home-based travel business.