In my last column, I explored familiarization (FAM) trips and how they are viewed within the travel agent community. This time around, we’ll discuss how you can get the most out of your FAM trip experience, including tips on managing information, and how to make a good impression on the supplier.
1. Perhaps the most important tidbit I could ever share: you can never be TOO professional, but you can most definitely be too un-professional. Remember you are representing not only your company, whether self-employed or an agency employee, but you are representing the travel agent community at large.
2. Everything else stems from that fact – the clothes you wear, the manner in which you behave, and what you do in the “off hours.” To start with, many of us receive FAM invitations addressed to the general agent community, but some of us are lucky enough to receive one addressed Read the rest of this entry »
Darren Cronian is, among other things, a UK blogger about all things travel. Last week he penned an article entitled “Familiarisation trips in the travel industry should be banned” (they have a “z” in British English but they call it a “Zed” and use it for other things). Darren was reacting to a news story that Dubai invited some 2000 travel agents on a mega fam trip designed to acquaint agents on the wonders of the UAE. Darren argued that in a time of economic distress worldwide when agencies and suppliers alike are laying off staff and making dramatic cutbacks in operations, perhaps sending agents across the globe on a boondoggle makes little sense. Darren makes the argument that with the easy availability of video and teleconference, such trips are unnecessary and even unethical expenditures of resources.
Mr. Cronian rightly predicted it was likely some would say he was talking “rubbish”- another great British phrase meaning something less than “talking trash” in American English but more than “nonsense”. Read the rest of this entry »