Search This Blog

Thursday 24 June 2010

Tour Guides globally celebrate OurExplorer 2 year Birthday

Thank you all for your kind 2 year birthday wishes, here are just a few examples from around the world.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Tour Guide - What questions may help your tour guide service?

When tour guides are showing travelers around a destination, what do you talk about besides the standard guiding content?

Perhaps exchange personal information is a good idea to get to know your client more and build trust and friendship. It is quite ususal for tour guides and travelers can become friends after several days together. What else shall a tour guide choose to talk about during sightseeing tours? If you have enough time with your clients, it will be great to cover some of the below topics.

Q. How did you find/locate my tour guide service?
If not mentioned in previous communication, it is important to know how your clients locate you. Is it via an internet search, a friend referral, a newspaper advertisement …? You can then focus on the more efficient channels to receive future clients.

Q. How do you usually learn about a destination when you travel around?
This question is for client segmentation. You possibly already know the purpose of their trip before meeting them e.g. business trip or cruise vacation. Ask a bit more about their general travel methods so that you can target your client group more clearly in future e.g does the client usually use a group guide, guide book or private guide new in a new destination? When marketing it is good to be focused with certain groups. Do you have more business tourists? Do independent travelers or cruise passengers require your service more? Do senior travelers prefer your sightseeing tours offered?

Ask for feedback at end of the tour.

Have a summary of the day trip, the areas covered and ask if they enjoyed the day. Did they expect something more? If you are confident they had a great tour with you, why not ask for a written or video testimonial? Travelers are happy to talk about their trips, especially a memorable experience with a wonderful local tour guide. For clients from OurExplorer, why not reminding them to save a rating and review on the website after the tour? Client feedback is good for a tour guide to improve their service level. A testimonial adds great value to build trust with future clients.

What questions do you usually talk about with your clients?


Tuesday 1 June 2010

Tour Guide Jobs - How to become a professional tour guide?

Summer is coming and we are entering peak holiday season in Europe, Americas and Asia. There is a big demand of professional tour guides. Big events like the Fifa World Cup 2010 in South Africa and Expo 2010 in Shanghai have brought more tour guides job opportunities and relevant jobs in tourism and travel.

If you are interested in a tourism career, becoming a local tour guide can be a good start. Ask youself – do you have the passion to show your city and is your personality fit? Although tour guide jobs requires various skills, it is a job to have face-to-face communication with travelers. When you don’t have the passion to show your city, people, customs and life in this city, you would easily get bored going the same routes. If you prefer dealing with computer/numbers to real people, a tour guide job will not fit you. Being passionate and fit for the job, you can go on the next step to get qualified as a tour guide.

How to become a licensed tour guide? The requirements vary with different cities and countries. The best way is to check with your local tour guide association or tourism administration. It usually requires passing the exams (written and/or oral), or certain training programs. (World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations) has members of official tourist guide associations in many countries around the world.

In many countries, the qualified tour guide will acquire a license/certificate to go on daily guiding jobs. Practical experience is important to develop your career as a tour guide. You learn how to deal with different clients and needs, get mature on addressing to various questions, grow experienced to handle emergent situations… Day-to-day guiding work will distinguish excellent tour guides from poor-performing ones. Tour guide job requires as well continuous learning. The information is changing and the city is growing. A professional guide needs to be equipped with latest information, so that you can show your travelers in an up-to-date way.

Career prospect of a tour guide. Career prospect applies not only to a tour guide, but to any one who is seeking personal development in his/her job. For a tour guide, what can be your career prospect? You can focus as a tour guide, and become expert in the field. For example, in China there are different guide qualification levels of junior, middle-level, senior and superior tour guides. Kenya safari guides are noted with bronze, silver and gold levels. Another development is mastering other languages to be a multi-lingual tour guide. If you want more adventures in this career, you can turn to a tour leader for overseas trips. With your first-hand experience as a tour guide, you can design unique sightseeing tours with your specialty. In this way, you are shifting to a tour manager or marketing person for your own tours.

There are many tour guide jobs in tourism and travel. Start learning to be a licensed tour guide first, and practice to be a top excellent tour guide in your career.