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What's the best way for a travel agent to effectively sell a resort or cruise? A "familiarization" trip—aka FAM—allows travel professionals to "feel" the resort and destination, and recommend them to clients.

These trips aren't vacations; they're to help sell a property. Your days will be packed with inspections and events; you may be on your feet seeing rooms or cabins, sitting in classes, or listening to lectures and sales presentations. It's hard work, often with little free time.

Some hints on getting the most from a FAM or ship inspection and showing suppliers your professionalism and support:

1. Be respectful of guests at the resorts or on ships. When touring rooms or cruise cabins, keep your voice down in the hallways, so guests in their rooms aren't inconvenienced. They don't want to hear twenty agents yapping and laughing.

2. Clear the path. If guests are walking down the hall, move so they have a clear path. They're the resort's first priority, and agents should respect that.

3. Be on time. If you're told to be at an airport at a certain time, be there. Is your bus leaving at 12:30? Be there at 12:15. Being late delays the group and is disrespectful to your host. The entire schedule is held up when agents are late.

4. Dress appropriately. Typically, this is business casual attire—not jeans, short-shorts, or T-shirts. At night, many restaurants have dress codes, and agents should be appropriately attired.

5. Stay off. You're there to look at the room. Refrain from sitting on the bed and messing it up. After you leave, the room should look as it did when you arrived.

For more tips on FAM etiquette, click here to read this article in the digital edition of Groups Today magazine.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Greenberg.

 

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