By Carmen Lopes
Vacation Travel Specialist at Atlas Travel Vacations & Cruises
As a young travel agent just starting out, I was aware that one of the most important tools in building my foundation would be to immerse myself in the business and get to know various destinations. I just didn’t expect that my first chance for a familiarization trip, or “fam trip,” would come so soon!
Two hours into working at Atlas Travel, I was offered the opportunity to take a fam trip to Jamaica, including a specialty course; how could I pass that up? My emerging specialty is Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, and this trip allowed me to expand my knowledge of both. With the high cost of home-based traditional weddings, it is not surprising that the popularity of destination weddings and honeymoons is on the rise. This trip focused on romance travel, as well as offering valuable information about promoting yourself as an agent with that specialty.
Having only visited Jamaica on a cruise ship, I was excited to experience it not only as a visitor, but also from the viewpoint of a travel agent. Upon arrival at our host resort, Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Resort, the large metal gates and greenery reminded me that I was no longer in New England!
For one full day at the beginning of the trip, agents were able to participate in a romance travel discussion. During the class, we discussed important aspects of the industry such as knowing what you sell, selling what you know, client consultation and resort knowledge.
While on the trip, we were able to do site inspections at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Half Moon: Rose Hall, Secrets Wild Orchid, Secrets St. James, Royalton White Sands Resort, Jamaica Inn, Couples San Souci and Riu Ocho Rios. With such a wide range of properties – from the small and intimate such as the Jamaica Inn to the large and exciting atmosphere at the Riu Ocho Rios – all the resorts offered something special for each type of romance traveler.
Overall I found my first fam trip experience worthwhile in more ways than one. I was able to experience a destination first-hand in order to better assist a client. I took away important information regarding romance travel and destination weddings in particular. I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going and cultivating my skills as a specialist even further!
To learn more about Jamaica and to book your dream destination wedding or honeymoon, contact Carmen Lopes at Carmen.Lopes@atlastravel.com or by phone at 508-488-1267.