A “fam” tour, or familiarization tour, is a common tool in the tourism industry, but almost no one takes time to explain the idea. Let’s go through the basics of fam tours for small business.
|Bloggers on a fam tour in Hutchinson, KS.
That’s me and Jeanne on the left.
Tourism expert Sarah Page explained that a fam tour is “a short tour geared toward the press or travel trade to familiarize them with the attractions of a particular area. The hope is that after the tour the press will write stories and articles about the area, and the travel trade will begin to book tours there.”
So if you run a bed and breakfast, you might give a night of free lodging to a small fam tour group in exchange for the hope of exposure that would lead to future business. If you could have your B&B featured in a national magazine or on a popular travel blog, wouldn’t you trade a night’s stay to get it?
Who might come on a fam tour?
While travel writers are the most common fam tour participants, there are lots of different people who you might see:
- people who publish in traditional media like newspapers, tv and magazines
- people who publish online with blogs, videos, audio, photos and the like
- people who book tours, like group tour organizers
- people who recommend travel, like your state or regional tourism groups
Do fam tours actually work?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.