Increasing Itineraries to Namibia: The Coordination of Familiarization and Press Trips for the North American Market
- Client: Namibia Tourism Board
- Project Duration: December 18, 2014 – March 31, 2015
Solimar International was tasked with organizing a series of familiarization (FAM) trips and press trips for the Namibia Tourism Board. In North America, Namibia has built a strong reputation as a premier African destination. It is known for its unique conservation experiences as well as its special interest experiences, such as photography and cycling. After a concerted and effective positioning campaign in North Americans, are aware of Namibia and it is on many travelers’ bucket lists. Because of the nature of the destination, travelers typically book trips to Namibia through a tour operator or travel agent. We know that the travel trade can’t sell what they don’t know. Therefore, it was essential to give our top partners a firsthand experience of the destination to equip them with the knowledge and marketing materials they need to sell Namibia successfully. Overall, FAM trips are an excellent way to keep those in the tourism industry up to date on the destinations offering, new accommodations and new routes. It also helps create destination “Ambassadors” as we give the trade the opportunity to fall in love with the destination and increase the chance that they will push it to their clients when asked for a recommendation.
- Create detailed itineraries focused on thematic growth areas for Namibia: photography, biking and culture and liaise with suppliers in Namibia who lead the trips
- Select participants for FAM trips that have the most potential to begin selling Namibia and select press best suited for each media tour.
- Collect information and book travel for each individual participant to ensure ease of travel.
- Coordinate day to day communications with participants.
- Follow-up with each participant after the FAM trip to ensure they have the sales tools and marketing materials they need to launch Namibia itineraries.
- Strong relationships between North American tour operators and travel agents and Namibia tour operators.
- An increased number of Namibia itineraries on offer by North American agents and operators.
- New products promoted to the North American market, namely photography, cycling and conservation.
- Increased awareness of Namibia as a travel destination among North American consumers.
- Positive earned media about Namibia in North American press.
- Stories generated on niche interests that will spur special interest tourists to come to Namibia.