When it comes to tourism, 90 percent of visitors trust peer recommendations. And there’s no better recommendation than those provided by social media influencers and writers.

That was the premise behind the Southern Oregon Wine, Culinary and Adventure familiarization tour September 27-30, 2016. Thanks to a Wine Country License Plate grant from Travel Oregon, nine writers from throughout the West Coast were introduced to our award-winning wines, regional bounties and one-of-a-kind attractions. Building relationships with and inspiring these influencers and their followers were the key outcomes of this FAM.

The FAM was based out of Jacksonville and included a variety of packed full-day activities and evening winemakers’ dinners at the Jacksonville Inn, Red Lily Vineyards in the Applegate Valley (catered by Larks), and Peerless Restaurant in Ashland. Following their stay, several of the influencers opted to continue their tour to the South Coast.

Since the FAM, the writers have been populating their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest feeds with postings and photos from their trip. With her blogs at theatlasheart.com and YouTube videos, Portland-based writer Mimi McFadden invites her readers and viewers to visit Southern Oregon. Here’s a sampling:

A Complete Guide to Wine Tasting in Southern Oregon

Grants Pass: a Revitalized City in Southern Oregon

Jet Boating the Rugged Rogue River

20 Gorgeous Photos to Inspire You to Visit the Southern Oregon Coast

Ashland, Oregon in the Fall – Why You Need to Go!

A Pioneer Gold Rush Town in Oregon: Jacksonville

Road tripping the Southern Oregon Coast

Wine Tasting in Southern Oregon

Vancouver, B.C.-based business writer Peter Peter Mitham, wrote about the Southern Oregon Harvest for Wines & Vines magazine. And Jade Helm, author at Tasting Pour, included Harbor, Oregon's Fat Irish Kitchen & Pub in her blog, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.

More than 40 destination marketing organizations and partners were involved in the FAM.  

“The 2016 Wine, Culinary and Adventure FAM was a huge success,” said Sue Price, Travel Southern Oregon's travel trade, product development and trade show manager. “From welcome baskets, turn-down service gifts, winery stops and tastings, winemakers dinners, lunch experiences, shuttle companies, river fun, farm and ranch tours, scenic tours, theatrical performances, artisan tours, ... and the list goes on.  

“A special thank you to our inspirational advisory committee and the dedicated DMOs involved in the FAM; Ashland Chamber of Commerce/Travel Ashland, Travel Medford, Jacksonville Visitor Center and Travel Grants Pass for hosting and being exceptional escorts during their day excursions.”