2020 Hospitality Familiarization Trip
Marcel Proust once said, “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” This was the perspective that PTC’s Hospitality and Multimedia students had during their 2020 Familiarization (FAM) Trip. In past years, our FAM Trip consisted of students traveling to destinations across the country, but due to the pandemic, our students explored Pittsburgh to discover what makes the city an important and popular destination.
Our annual FAM trip is designed by travel suppliers (e.g., tour operators, airlines, hotel chains, conventions, visitors’ bureaus and/or destination management companies). It is hosted for travel agents, meeting planners, bloggers, and the media. Sales and hospitality professionals (who our students will be one day) evaluate hotels, discover restaurants, and experience attractions so they can better promote them to clients.
In November 2020, PTC Hospitality students explored Pittsburgh through the eyes of a meeting planner and/or travel agent/blogger with the intention of promoting their assigned neighborhoods to prospective travelers. They were asked to think of all the different travelers and their points of view. Our Video Production students joined them to capture their daily experiences.
In 3 days and 2 nights, our five groups of students visited 10 unique neighborhoods, stayed at 10 different hotels, and received 12 guided tours. Throughout this experience, they met with General Managers from many hotels including the Renaissance Hotel, Mansions on Fifth, and Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, and participated in guided tours at landmarks across the city including the Andy Warhol Museum, Gateway Clipper Fleet, and Senator John Heinz History Center, all while gaining connections and experiences that can be applied in their career.
After their FAM Trip was complete, each group prepared for and hosted a 30-minute webinar in January 2021 to sell their specific experience, engage the audience, and build rapport, as students have done in the past with our on-ground travel show. Their presentations were a success consisting of over 345 participants, including many notable attendees from Sales Managers at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, General Managers from the Greater Pittsburgh Hotel Association, Special Events Managers from Carnegie Museums, to Corporate Travel Managers from prominent companies.
Despite the pandemic, PTC students explored their own backyard and uncovered the stories and destinations that make Pittsburgh a world-class city. Enjoy some of the highlights from PTC’s 2020 FAM Trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/HJw8b6PABpw5bMXU7