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Tuesday 24 November 2009

Tips to best present your sightseeing tours on OurExplorer

As you know, OurExplorer has launched a new product Sightseeing Tours last month. OurExplorer is happy to see now over 150 sightseeing tours already saved this website, provided by our tour guides all over the world. Some tours are well presented and very attractive, so we would like to share with all. It is not only about your sightseeing tours on OurExplorer, but can be generally applied online or offline.

Tip 1: Shout out your specialty clearly. Why should travelers choose your sightseeing tour rather than anyone else’s? Because the sightseeing tour with you is unique. For example-
Barcelona Sightseeing Tour, Marta’s tapas tour for a delicious local experience!
Shanghai Sightseeing Tours with Jean, see how the old buildings, factories and houses have been fueled with new vitality by creative designs.
Prague Sightseeing Tours with Martina, look up for lady holding broom and lantern!

Tip 2: Photos are inspiring. Add photos to your sightseeing tour. Let travelers have a direct visual impression of what to see during the visit. See Classic City Tour in Buenos Aires.

Tip 3: Detailed and clear introduction. Clients can’t book your sightseeing tour if they are not clear about the tour length, price, routes…, right? So a clear introduction on tour details is critical. It actually saves a tour guide’s efforts by clarifying things in advance. See Acapulco Sightseeing Tours with Rudy!

Tip 4: Show your humor and wisdom!
Sightseeing Tours Exclusions: Bad tempered, no- sense of humor, it's-just-another-tour local guides. Isn’t it nice to experience a Zagreb sightseeing tour like this, More than an ordinary sightseeing tour?

Have you any suggestions on the best sightseeing tours?

Monday 16 November 2009

Maximise Sightseeing Tour Length and Tour Guide Commentary

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. Are you as a tour guide designing a special program for the holiday period? Besides something specially related with Christmas, what else will you cover in your guiding commentary? A sightseeing spot may have dozens of stories or facts. Will you tell them all? Probably not. It is not necessary either.

A traveler once remarked on her day excursion in Shanghai (China),”The city is amazing. But for a city like this, I just feel there is too much to absorb and digest in a single day.” Not to mention shorter sightseeing tours e.g. a 3-hour walking tour. Avoid overloading with information is important.

Because of the limited time on a tour, a good tour guide will try to find the clients’ interest and thus focusing more on relevant aspects. How? Ask the client beforehand. Even with routine sightseeing tours, it could turn out differently with different travelers. Do not hesitate to add a simple question “Do you have any special interest?” Listen to them on the sightseeing tours. Listening is a kind of art. From the questions they asked and their personal backgrounds mentioned, you can detect what they might be more interested.

Sightseeing Tour length is an important element to consider when preparing commentary on a tour. If the travelers have a longer sightseeing tour with you, it is a good opportunity for you to share more knowledge and wisdom. Separate general information throughout days. Do not talk over all in one day and stay quiet in the other day. A day with certain theme requires commentary sticking to the same theme. Try different routes back to the accommodation, so that you won’t repeat similar contents.

One more point, when you are working together with another tour guide, e.g. national guide, local guide, or tour leader, cooperate in what to say in your commentary. Travelers don’t want repeated information.

Have you encountered similar problem, too less time but too much to say? Tips are welcome in comments.

Monday 9 November 2009

Tour Guide Survey with Adolfo in Mexico

Tour Guide Adolfo Soberanis-Rios, Acapulco Sightseeing Tours

1. What is the best thing you like about being a tour guide?

Being able to “brag” about my Country and show our visitors the true colors of it, sharing our valuable History, customs, traditions and most important of all, helping them feel the warmth and heart-felt care of my people by taking them by the hand into their environment.

2. What is your most memorable moment in guiding so far?
When I took care of a famous blind golfer by the name of Charles Boswell (author of the book “Now I can see”) in the company of Late Mr. John P. Kern and I took them out for dinner at this fantastic Restaurant “El Campanario” (1988) which was located on the very summit of a high hill, overlooking a breathtaking view of Acapulco bay, & as we sat in our table, his expression turned very thoughtful as he turned to me and expressed: “Adolfo, this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my entire life” Needless to say, my jaw fell to the floor among the other diners !

3. What is most challenging for you in this career? Have you coped with it?

When I received an email requesting assistance for booking a private villa for a Jewish family visiting Acapulco for the first time. After exchanging many emails back and forth with several different options for this client to choose from, and just as I thought he finally agreed upon one, he disappeared, only to return about a week later to let me know he had found another villa for a lower price. Since I was aware of the lousy conditions of such villa, I sent him an email (after talking to the owner of the villa he had chosen previously and getting him the same rate as the other cheap one). Upon their arrival to Acapulco I pick them up at the airport and took them to the villa they have booked. Right then I offered my ground transportation service to his full party of 7 adults and 4 children and again had to agree on a much lower rate for him to accept such service.

One thing led to another and from then on, it was like pulling teeth to cop with him, so I finally decided to send him a colleague of mine, to drive them around on the same deal …but he wouldn’t hear of it and he demanded I was the one to do his driving. So I did and it was the longest week of my entire life !!!

At the end and as I saw them off at the departure gate at the airport, he came towards me, embraced me and thank me for everything I did for him and his family …and even gave me a tip.

4. What is your favorite place/thing that you want to show your travel clients?

Definitely the Culture, wonderful History, my charming/friendly fellow citizens, the close family bonds among our people, the colors, the delicious cuisine, the wonderful beaches, the archaeological sites nearby, Taxco (Silver capitol of the world) …and breathtaking sights. I could carry and rant on & on, but I’d basically love to at least show that much.

5. What if you were not a tour guide? What do you imagine yourself to be?

I was born into the Tourist Industry by having a father that became the first Federal Government Tourist Inspector in Acapulco, in the late 1950s-early 1960s. When he died in 1970, I inherited his job and was sent to Mexico City for 5 months to take Certification Course to become a Federal Tourist Inspector myself, which I did. Eventually I had the opportunity to move to San Francisco where I lived and studied to become a Certified Auto-mechanic, which I worked as one for about 12 years in my own auto repair shop.

In 1983 I decided I wanted to do a different job for about a year (sort of giving me a little room to breath) & went to work for a local travel agency. At the end of two seasons I just knew this was it for me and I applied for my Government-licensed as a Certified Tour Guide and became one in October 1985. Since then (only after the birth of my 3 children), this has been the most important and happiest thing to happen in my life.

What would I be if I were not a Tour guide …I just can not picture my life in any other way !!!