Leisure Group Travel marketing columnist Dave Bodle says travel writers and tour operators have different needs, and that can cause problems when the two groups are part of the same FAM trip.

A recent press trip served as a reminder of basic dos and don’ts regarding familiarization tours, or FAMs. Simply stated, it’s not a particularly good idea to mix journalists and tour operators. I’m quite sure they all get along just fine, but they do have different agendas.

Writers on a press trip are looking for story ideas. Tour operators on a FAM are concerned with itinerary building. Sounds simple, but the two are actually quite dissimilar. Even when the story idea and itinerary sound the same, they’re different.

Culinary is a case in point. There’s a ton of foodies that have taken to blogging and writing their likes and dislikes about food and everything associated with eating. On the other side are tour operators and groups where the destination’s culinary offerings can make or break a travel decision. So, where’s the difference?

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