How to best incorporate bloggers and online publishers into standard press trips/fam tours is an ongoing item of discussion in many tourism circles.

I’m seeing more and more interest by bloggers in constructing individual fams directly with CVBs and DMOs, rather than participating in group tours that don’t represent the sort of travel that they – or their readers – prefer.

Here’s one perspective about press trips from Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt) in a travel blogger’s Facebook discussion about press trip pros/cons (quoted with permission:)

“I stopped taking press trips for this reason. I was and still am offered incredible luxury trips but I just can’t take them. It doesn’t mesh with my message. Would I love a luxury trip? Yeah, but I can’t in any good way write about it.

Plus I find press trips to be super-jammed-packed itineraries with little personal time or space to relax or get to know a city. I instead now just work directly with tourism boards to set stuff up. I get to make my own itinerary, stay in hostels, and travel cheap. They don’t care because I am still writing about the destination for them (which is all they care about) and I’m a pretty cheap date…hostels, a train pass, and some city sightseeing cards and I’m good to go. That’s nothing for them.”

Some organizations may see group tours as a more efficient use of resources and time, but this assumes that bloggers need a lot of hand-holding. Many do not; an independent experience makes a lot more sense for them, and will probably result in more compelling and interesting coverage.

Some may say no to your press trip because the timing is off or it’s just a bad fit, but the chances of acceptance and a positive experience are a lot better if the trip matches the person taking it.

Pretty much always true, right?

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