For the hospitality industry, familiarisation trips are a key part of the year for third-party travel agents and event bookers.
After all, how can we expect a third-party company to sell a hotel if they don’t know know the area as well as the hotel itself?
It’s no easy task to create a fam trip that will leave a lasting memory with the people in attendance, but there are some simple dos and don’ts that should ensure you get off to the right start.
Timing is everything. Think about the weather, the local attractions and how busy the hotel is at the time of booking.
If the weather isn’t going to showcase your hotel in the best possible light, it might be worth waiting until it does.
If there are any cool local (ideally yearly) attractions going on in the local area — or even better, at the hotel — it might be worth booking people in then so they can experience it.
Whilst you don’t want your guests to arrive at an empty hotel, a hotel that is full-to-the-brim might lead guests to have waits for breakfast or struggle to get a spa treatment booked in.
The average guest won’t mind this little wait – after all they’re on holiday and are likely there for a few days. Your fam trip guests, however, will be on a tight schedule, so making sure they see as much as possible is essential.
Food and drink
According to the World Food Travel Association’s Food Travel Monitor Report, 75% of leisure travellers plan to visit a destination because of culinary activity.
If your hotel or the surrounding area is known for its food and drink, it’s essential that you show this off in the best way possible.
If you have more than one restaurant at the hotel, taking your guests on a culinary adventure (each restaurant hosts a different course) is the best way to show guests everything the hotel has to offer in a short window of time.
It’s tempting to pack their schedules and sometimes (if they are there for a specific reason) it’s not always a bad idea.
However, you should ensure that they have time in their schedules to relax. Allow them to make their way around the local area on their own – giving them suggestions along the way.
It’s worth making sure that you do also plan some group activities to make sure they get to experience the side of the hotel you want/need them to see.
Caroline is a writer and author with 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, specialising in marketing, social media and employee/employer communications. She has worked in-house at some of the biggest hotels in the world but now spreads her time across a range of different clients working – mostly – from home with her assistant, Milly the rescue Labrador.
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