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Familiarization Tours – What are they?

Familiarization Tours – What are they?

You may have heard of Familiarization Tours (FAM Tour is the industry abbreviation) and wondered what they are, who provides them and who are they for.

FAM Tours are hosted by travel destinations, restaurants and attractions to familiarize travel professionals with products and services that they feel will help the travel professional sell their destinations or services. FAM tours can be as close as a local restaurant or B & B in your community inviting the local Information Center staff or local travel agents to enjoy a meal or overnight stay. First hand experiences are much easier to sell.

FAM Trips are not usually free, but offered to travel professionals at a reduced rate. This ensures that travel expert is truly invested in learning about the destination or product. While this may sound like an ideal way to take a vacation, it is far from it. Destination FAM tours are jammed packed with hotel rooms, quick overview stops at attractions, dining experiences packaged into a short trip with long, long days. FAM tours are designed to provide the travel professional with a “snap shot” of the destination. The upside is that your travel professional will meet face to face with service providers and begin to build relationships with those they will work with. When booking your next holiday or tour, they will be able to recommend safe local transportation as well a personal perspective into your next adventure.

Wells Gray Tours utilizes FAM opportunities whenever possible to research new destinations. These FAM tours provide great benefits for you as the traveller. When researching a new destination it is so much easier to plan the itinerary with input from staff that has had firsthand experience. Having someone on the ground in a destination allows for a personal glimpse into cultural expectations, safety issues and transportation availability. Recently our staff has been busy; Darlene from our Vernon office and Sema from Victoria cruised on the Ocean Endeavor to Baffin Island and Greenland, Stephanie from Kamloops and Kerrie from Kelowna spent time in Savannah, Georgia and the Golden Isles, while Fraser and Shane are busy exploring cruise opportunities with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

On the Ocean Endeavor to Baffin Island and Greenland

BOAT GlacierIMG_0283

The Golden Isles, Georgia


Tallinn, Estonia with Norwegian Cruise Lines.


Wells Gray Tours not only takes advantage of FAM tour offerings, but offers FAM tours to its employees on our tours to destinations that we travel to frequently. This ensures that all our staff stays well informed on areas we go to repeatedly, understand how we operate when out on tour and have a chance to meet and mingle with our guests in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Wells Gray Tours provides the staff with additional time off to take FAMS.

You know you will be in good hands when you travel with Wells Gray Tours due to on our going commit to making sure we are well educated about the destinations we travel to.

Written by: Joan Niemeier