What is a Press Trip? Your Questions Answered

A press trip, aka a media trip or familiarisation trip (FAM trip), is a trip that a tourism board, hotel, or other organisation organises to allow journalists, reporters, influencers, or content creators to experience a destination or product firsthand. From my personal experience, journalists on a press trip usually get free travel, accommodations, and activities. The expectation is that the media on the trip will write articles or produce other content about their experience. This expectation is the norm in Ireland, however, in other countries it is different.

What does it mean for journalists on press trips?

For me, as a travel writer, press trips can be an excellent opportunity to learn about new destinations and products and also get some great photos and videos for my articles. They can also be fun, as you get to travel with like-minded people and experience new things. However, as a writer, I need to remember that I am first and foremost on a press trip, and my primary goal is to produce objective and unbiased content. I also have to ensure that I avoid allowing the tourism board or other organisations hosting the trip to influence me. I also always need to ask tough questions.

What does it mean for readers of articles generated from press trips?

When readers read articles generated from press trips, it is essential to remember that the journalists who wrote the articles were guests of the tourism board or other organisations that sponsored the trip. This means the journalists may have been influenced by their hosts, and their articles may not be entirely objective. However, it is also important to remember that journalists are trained to be objective and that they will typically try to present a balanced view of the destination or product they are writing about.

Ultimately, it is up to the readers to decide how much weight to give to articles generated from press trips. Therefore, if you are a reader looking for unbiased information about a destination or product, do additional research.

Here are some tips for readers of articles generated from press trips:

  • Be aware of the source of the article. Is it from a reputable publication? Is the journalist who wrote the article an expert on the destination or product?
  • Read the article critically. Look for any biases or omissions.
  • Do your own research. Visit the destination or product yourself, or read other articles about it.

By following these tips, you can be more confident that the information you read is accurate and unbiased.

Melanie May on a press trip in the country of Jordan.

What is a press trip? For journalists, they are a multifaceted adventure:

For journalists and content creators, press trips are a blend of adventure, exploration, and professional growth. Here’s what it means for them:

In-Depth Experience: Press trips allow journalists to immerse themselves fully in the destination. They get a chance to explore local attractions, engage with the culture, meet locals, and partake in activities that create a deep understanding of the place.

Exclusive Access: These trips often include exclusive access to behind-the-scenes experiences, expert guides, and hard-to-reach locations. This provides journalists with unique angles and insider information to enrich their stories.

Storytelling Opportunities: Press trips offer a treasure trove of stories waiting to be told. From lesser-known destinations to remarkable encounters, journalists gather material that brings their travel narratives to life.

Networking: Interacting with fellow journalists, tourism representatives, and locals on these trips can lead to valuable networking opportunities. These connections can open doors to future collaborations and assignments.

Challenges and Responsibility: While press trips are undoubtedly exciting, they come with the responsibility of representing the destination accurately and ethically. Balancing the joy of the experience with the professionalism of reporting is crucial.

What is a press trip? For readers, they are a window to the world:

Press trips are not just transformative experiences for journalists; they also have a significant impact on the stories that reach readers:

Firsthand Insights: Articles crafted from press trips provide readers with insights that go beyond the surface. Personal experiences and anecdotes make the destination feel more relatable and enticing.

Informed Choices: Readers gain valuable information about destinations, accommodations, activities, and local culture. This equips them to make informed decisions when planning their own trips.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Discoveries: Journalists often uncover hidden spots and local gems during their press trips. Readers benefit from these discoveries, gaining access to places they might not find in traditional travel guides.

Visual Delights: Stunning photographs and videos captured during press trips accompany articles, immersing readers in the destination’s beauty and atmosphere.

Inspiration: Reading about a journalist’s journey can inspire readers to embark on their own adventures. It ignites a sense of wanderlust and encourages them to explore new horizons.

Melanie May on a press trip in the Kingdom of Jordan.

Being transparent about press trips

Whilst most of my travel is self-funded, I occasionally take part in press trips. However, when I write an article, I always say whether it was part of a press trip. I aim to be as transparent as possible so you can make informed choices about the places you read about.

So, having read this ‘what is a press trip’ article, do you now know what a press trip is? Finally, and as always, if you have any questions or comments about press trips or transparency, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Finally, finally, all the photos in this post are from a press trip to Jordan. I was on assignment for the Sunday Times. You can read my article by clicking this link. If you want to read a press trip article, here is my Queens Travel Guide.

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