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GROUP FAM AT MOUNT HOVEN, USA

By Beate Christin Gran on

USA- Five Years of FAM Results Are In

Familiarization (or FAM) trips are an integral part of any destination’s marketing strategy, and Norway is no exception. So how do we effectively measure the ROI of bringing travel professionals to Norway to experience the destination first hand? The New York office just did an extensive survey to gather results to prove the effectiveness of FAM trips.

Written and conducted by David DiGregorio, January 23, 2020

Bringing tour operators to experience Norway first hand has long been believed to be one of the most effective ways to increase sales of Norway abroad. However, measuring the productivity of FAM trips has always been a challenge. Large tour operators may take one or two years to produce new programs to Norway. Innovation Norway’s New York office recently conducted a survey of all past North American FAM trip participants going back to 2014. The survey was sent to 86 individuals. 32 responded. Overall, the results were highly positive.

  • 66% of respondents had not previously sold Norway before participating in the FAM trip.
  • Of those that had already been selling Norway, 86% reported being able to sell more Norway after participating in the FAM.
  • Of those that had not previously sold Norway, 73% reported beginning to sell Norway after participating in the FAM with several more stating they would begin in 2020/2021.
  • 69% of respondents directly attributed an increase in sales to Norway to their participation in the FAM trip with another 27% indicating a potential correlation. 
  • We asked the 32 respondents to report how many total pax they have sent to Norway since participating in a FAM trip. The total pax reported was 10,258 with an average per respondent of 410 pax
  • We asked respondents to estimate the average total spend per passenger on a Norway itinerary. The average reported was $6,152/person
  • We asked respondents to estimate the average total number of days spent in Norway. The average reported was 7.64 days.
  • 19% reported always combining Norway with another Nordic destination on the same itinerary. An additional 54% reported to "sometimes" combine. 
  • 69% expect to see a future increase in business to Norway. 

    We asked respondents to share links to specific programs that were created because of their FAM trip participation. Here are some samples:
    • Gateways International
    • Expeditions
    • Home at First
    • Bicycle Adventures
    • St.Olaf College Tours
    • Out Adventures
    • TCS World Travel 
    • Gate 1 Travel

FAM Survey 1

FAM Survey 2

FAM Survey 3

All in all, this research confirms the productivity of FAM trips in the long term and the need to track results over a period of years, and not just months. It also reiterates that the most productive way to sell Norway is often bringing the right people to experience the destination first hand. Identifying who the right people are to participate in a FAM trip is one of the most important tasks for an Innovation Norway office abroad and one that can only be effectively accomplished with a very high level of local market knowledge and relationships.

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Beate Christin Gran

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