From the perspective of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), a familiarization (FAM) tour is an opportunity to host meeting planners, event coordinators, tour operators, or travel media and bloggers in Stillwater to create awareness and provide a positive experience. In other words, to familiarize planners, coordinators, operators and/or media – with our community.
A FAM tour is a tool utilized in all types of economic development, including the travel and tourism industry, to introduce potential influencers and decision makers to what a destination has to offer. They often take place during locally held events, to spotlight a particular market segment, follow the theme of various interest areas, or service as a quick snap-shot of the community.
One of the primary roles of Visit Stillwater is to establish and cultivate relationships that make an impact on future visitor development for the community. We work with the teams of local hotels, restaurants, museums and attractions to host our guest(s) throughout our community. This gives our partners an opportunity to provide an up close and personal experience of their lodging property, dining establishment, or visitor destination.
A Visit Stillwater hosted FAM tour can only be successful with the participation and cooperation of local hospitality industry partners. When FAM tour participants experience Stillwater first-hand, they can speak from personal experience about what our community has to offer. And since it is their job to disperse information to large numbers of people, it is a valuable tool.
For the cost of travel – and now air travel directly into Stillwater, and thanks to the partnerships of our hotel, restaurant, and attraction partners, a FAM tour is a relatively low-cost method to generate a tremendous amount of return for our community.
Our visitor development partners no longer underestimate the value of a FAM tour and the editorial placement and promotion Visit Stillwater efforts acquire for them annually. Previously, many of our partners thought the media placement they received “just happened”. Very rarely is that the case.
Because a DMO does not own or operate hotels, dining services, museums, or attractions it is necessary for us to sell the products of our partners for the Stillwater experience. Therefore, we invest the time, travel, and relationship building in order to ensure as much exposure to various groups as possible.