- Meet the Team
- How We Work with You
- How We Work with the Travel Trade
- Benefits of working with the Travel Trade
- Tourism Development’s FAM Program
The Tourism Development Team consists of three team members each dedicated to a specific market territory.
Vice President, Global Tourism Development
+1 707 522 5805
UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand
Jaimie du Bois
Tourism Development Manager
+1 707 522 5823
US, Canada, Mexico
Tourism Development Manager
+1 707 522 5825
Europe & Asia
Sales & Tourism Development Coordinator
+1 707 522 5817
We provide leads, organize FAMS, develop training sessions, create buy-in opportunities, learn about your business, offer advice and guidance, meet to understand your needs, and strive to develop an "essential partnership" environment.
The Travel Trade landscape is one founded on relationships—establishing our team as an ‘on-the-ground’ resource for all things ‘Sonoma Wine Country’ is essential to keeping Sonoma County top of mind to travel professionals.
We work with the trade in a few different ways to promote Sonoma County hospitality businesses:
- We work directly with the travel trade (such as a tour operators or travel agents) via phone, e-mail, webinars, in-person sales calls & training sessions. We provide partner referrals, industry introductions, itinerary planning services, images, videos, maps & guides.
- We attend tradeshows & sales missions—such as IPW, where we have 1:1 appointments with travel trade professionals; participate in sales missions where we’ll have dedicated sessions with tour operators or travel agents; or we’ll work the booth at a tradeshow like ITB and educate interested travel professionals.
- We work closely with our SCT PR & Marketing Team so that our messages are aligned to the travel trade & respective media.
Working with the Travel Trade has many potential benefits to your business. First, establishing relationships with industry professionals can lead to years of them promoting your product. There is virtually no cost involved in these added promotions, as travel trade professionals take on all marketing costs, covering itinerary production for their clients, and answering travel planning questions. Working with the distribution channel that matches your business’ needs promotes you in markets that you might otherwise not reach alone. In addition, these relationships with the travel trade can bring more bookings to your business during key need periods (e.g. post-harvest, shoulder season bookings).
Familiarization Tours, known in the industry as FAMs, are destination tours for travel trade professionals. The purpose of FAMs is to educate these professionals on the destination so that they can then onward educate their staff and promote/sell to their customers. They also serve as a key opportunity to connect directly with Sonoma County lodging properties, attractions, activity providers, and other relevant hospitality businesses. The Tourism Development Team will often host FAM groups in coordination with Visit California, which has a greater reach into domestic and international markets. We’ll also organize independent FAM trips as the needs arise—our ‘busy’ season being the early spring, which is still a slower season for our lodging properties, wineries, and tour & activity providers.