Educational trips a right or a necessity?

At WorkAdvisor we recruit within the travel industry and always aim to place the right candidate in the right role.

This is often a balancing act of managing the expectations of the recruiter, who obviously wants the best person in the market, and the expectations of the candidate who, quite rightly, sees an approach from a recruiter as an opportunity to negotiate.

One area that always causes much debate is that of the coveted familiarisation trip (fam trip) or “educational” as it commonly known.

To people outside the industry – and perhaps some within – it’s an all-expenses paid trip to the sun for several days of non-stop partying.

But to those taking part, it can be a slog around six hotels a day, taking notes and following up with a detailed report to take back to the business.

So, how should the fam trip be viewed – is it a privilege, a right, or simply part of the job? I posed the question online and received a variety of responses.

Many said it should be a privilege. Some agents said that if it’s a long trip, they insist that an employee takes it as 50% holiday and 50% work. Some said it was a right of working in the travel industry.

To try and put some numbers behind the comments we carried out a simple poll:

Fam trip – is it a right, a privilege or a necessary part of the job?

Of the over 368 responses, just three people voted for fam trips being a “right”, 112 a privilege and by far the majority, 253, a necessary part of the job.

At WorkAdvisor we agree with the results of the poll. It makes perfect sense for the people who sell travel products to experience them for themselves and therefore be able to talk about a destination, hotel, ship or even a restaurant with authority and colour.

We all have to attend meetings and conferences away from the office and we think the fam trip should be seen in the same light – simply a necessary part of a well -informed travel agent’s job.