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Friday 26 March 2010

Tour Guide - How to efficiently use your webpages?

The importance of internet is growing quickly in the travel industry. More and more travelers now use internet for trip planning, destination reviews, and online bookings... If you are a tour guide with your personal website, or a simply web profile page, how can you maximize your online presence with the webpages? Rather than creating a website and leave it aside, you can efficiently use these online contents when talking with potential clients. Your tour guide webpages can be a very strong sales tool.

When clients enquire about general tour information, the ready-made content from your webpages can be forwarded to the clients directly by URL. However, be specific. Don’t overload your travel clients with too much information. Forward them the very relevant page addressing their queries e.g. your profile page with prices and licence copy saved.

One easy way of using your webpage is to include the tour guide URL in your E-mail sign off (signature). It makes your “E-business card” more professional. People would like to know more about yourself and the guiding services before they confirm the booking. A web page is easily accessible for them to get some information.

Include testimonial pages when talking with potential clients. On these client reviews are outlined clearly if you enjoyed past client bookings. The reviews and testimonials from past clients help to build up trust. Webpage with testimonials can be a very strong sales tool. Do not hesitate to show your testimonials, either on your own website or from other travel review websites.

Use the social media. Everyone is talking about twitter, facebook, google buzz these days. Social media is a method of inbound marketing. You can use it to connect with clients. You can also use these social media sites to promote your webpages. For instance, add the URL to your twitter profile, share links with your facebook friends, buzz your unique sightseeing tours.

Promote your tour guide profile webpage URL on other websites, forums and blogs. Blogging is a good way to keep your website up-to-date. Search engines like google value new contents and updated website.

Your webpages shall not be a dead presence. It is a good platform to promote tour guide services and various sightseeing tours. Proactively use it to receive more visitors and get new client bookings.

Have you any suggestions on using your OurExplorer tour guide webpages?

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Wednesday 17 March 2010

Tour Guide Rob McElroy and Dublin sightseeing tours

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

Firstly, as I'm an expressionist, it gives me a chance to convey and impart what I know and have experienced in my life in Ireland. But in addition, because I'm a poet and a writer and also like to sing, it allows me the opportunity to use these skills and augment a tour and a commentary for clients. I also love telling and narrating a story so what better way than incorporating all of these things and joining them together like a thread to a needle!

I also feel that as I've studied many subjects and visited and been to many places in my land, tour guiding is the best format to bring them all out AND AVAIL OF THEM!

2. What is your most memorable moment in guiding so far?

I think I would have to go back to the time when I started out: I first worked on an Open Top Bus and by the nature of that service, many people Hop On Hop Off every day - one such person was a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz. We had a chat - which in itself - was memorable – and he said that ''I was the best Tour Guide in any of the places he had visited on his vacation of European cities because in places that weren't interesting, I still made them interesting!''. Then he gave me his autograph!

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

The most challenging thing is, that one is dealing with human beings with different moods, feelings, interests, motivations, incentives, expectations, and one has to meet them - essentially it's being adaptable - I've coped quite well but life is a learning curve and there's always room for improvement!

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

Tara, Co Meath, because it was the ancient capital of Ireland – a special place which links history, mythology, legends, archaeology, folklore together. Unfortunately, it's not that easy to get to.

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

I'd be a Travel Writer because it'd incorporate my writing and my travel/tour knowledge!

A sample of Rob's dublin sightseeing tours

Have you had some similar tour guide experiences you want to share?

Friday 5 March 2010

Tired out during your sightseeing tours? Tips to Relax

Tour guiding is a physically-challenging as well as mind-absorbing work. A tour guide can be really stressed out if you don’t relax properly. This is especially important when leading multi-day sightseeing tours. You shall not use up your energy in the first day and struggle with fatigue through out the remaining of the trip. Balance yourself.

While planning the sightseeing tours, leave the evening of the tour free. The clients can enjoy themselves and you can refresh yourself for the next day. Have a short break after max. 2 hours (especially in walking sightseeing tours). It can be on the coach/vehicle, a short tea/cafĂ© break, free activity time in a scenic spot…

During the sightseeing tour, you can consciously relax your body now and then. When standing, stand straight with your weight well balanced on two legs, lower the shoulders and do not have a stiff neck. Keep your voice to a moderate noise level so long as every tourist can hear you. Take deep breath to fill brain with oxygen. Use middle finger to press in the middle of two eyebrows. Rub both ears from outer centre to top to hear better. Yawn or bubble the cheeks, shake muscles free.

When you have a moment with yourself, do some body exercises to get refreshed. For example, roll the head from left to right shoulder. Swing your arms around the body. Stretch arms above head and lean to each side. Turn around the body with arms swinging along…

What helpful tips do you use to release stress or fatigue while guiding? Share with OurExplorer .

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Tour Guide Barcelona - Shares her experiences with OurExplorer

Tour Guide Marta in Barcelona

I took a course on the Catalan Way of Saint James. Low season is a time to keep training and learning new things that can be interesting for me and my clients, so Monday and Tuesday I attended a workshop organized by the Tourism Department of the Catalan Government.

In the middle ages, pilgrims used to cross Europe to reach Spain and visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the Apostle Saint James is supposed to be buried. Now the traditional paths pilgrims used to get there have become a very popular holyday experience that mixes religion, with hiking/biking/horse riding, enjoying nature and gorgeous landscape, getting to know first-hand the local lifestyle, and discovering valuable architectural and artistic heritage.

Although the Catalan ways to Santiago aren't as famous as the two northern ones, pilgrims have also traditionally crossed our region on their way there, and now the Tourism Department has collaborated with different specialists to promote them. Guidebooks are being issued, the paths have been marked, and they are working to get more and more services open for pilgrims along their routes. Althought it definitely isn't as fully equipped as the traditional paths are, our ways are a great option for those who have already done the others and are looking for something new, and it's also way less crowded that any other other option.

As for me, although obviously not many pilgrims are likely to use tour guide services, I thought the worshop was very interesting and I learnt a lot about the routes and what you find along the way. I now actually feel like exploring pieces of it with my boyfriend some weekend!

Read more on Marta's blog -

Thank you for this very interesting experience share. Do you have tour guide experience to share with OurExplorer?