Familiarization Tours, known in the industry as FAMs, are destination site visits from industry representatives. These reps typically work in the travel trade industry as tour operators, international inbound operators, travel agents, and wholesalers from international and domestic markets.
Why are FAMs requested?
In most cases, operators will request a FAM to become more familiar with the products they are selling or to learn about new routes, overnights, and attractions in an area they are interested in building new, or expanding on current tour offerings.
The Wyoming Office of Tourism typically sees around 20 requests each year for FAMs. Because of the high popularity of FAMs, our office has established a vetting procedure to ensure the individuals who participate in FAMs are reputable and/or currently offering successful packages to Wyoming.
How many FAMs should my business participate in and do I have to comp everything?
FAMs are one of the best ways to showcase your business to the industry. However, many FAMs are requested during the busiest times of the year for our industry partners. It is best to evaluate whether or not the FAM request will benefit your business. Some questions to ask yourself when considering a FAM request are:
- Is the request from a market you are currently working with or want to get into?
- Are you willing to provide room nights, reservations, etc., during the time requested?
- Can you create a good experience to the FAM participants?
In most cases, our office will request for comped rooms, meals, and/or activities, but in some cases will accept discounted rates. It is important to look at FAMs as a marketing investment, rather than providing free services. A successful FAM will bring added business to your establishment, which, in-turn, could provide you with a large ROI.
How do I get involved?
The Wyoming Office of Tourism works directly with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) in each community to establish accommodations, meals, activities, and more, for these FAMs. Your DMO, which could be a CVB or a Chamber, will then send out requests for businesses to opt-in. If you are interested in hosting a FAM, best practice is to first contact your local DMO to ensure you are on the FAM request database.
If you do not know who your local DMO contact is, contact us and we can help!
Media FAMs are also a great way to get “free” advertising for your business. Media professionals (newspaper, magazine, TV, film, etc.) visit Wyoming on assignment several times throughout the year. For more information on Media FAMs, please email Piper Singer, PR and Media Manager, here.