As a tour business operator, you’re not only selling tours and activities to your guests; you’re also selling the promise of a fun and memorable experience. It's the tour guide's job to make sure guests get the best bang for their buck; a quality experience and a good time! You can have the most amazing views or activities but if you bore your guests to death, then you can’t expect them to come back, give good reviews or recommend you to their friends.
Here are some tips to being a tour guide that everyone loves.
Use stories on your tours, especially for historical and iconic destinations.
Yes, a tour guide should tell facts, but you don’t want to bombard your guests with information without context. Paint a picture. Draw a character. Really flesh things out for your visitors.
Aside from the what and when, emphasise the why and how things happened in your stories. Find the interesting bits of information, and weave the story with an exciting narrative. If possible, use a scenario or try to relate the story with the present time.
Give us some drama! Tap into your visitors' emotions. For historical tours, find a way to put a new spin on well-worn stories. Create a scenario for them; let them imagine what life was like in the olden days. Help them walk in the shoes of great characters of the past.
Try to relate to your guests by taking a personal interest in their stories. Listen to them; endear yourself with a bit of banter and chit-chat. Know where they’re from, what brings to the local area, how they’re enjoying the experience. Don’t just talk for the sake of talking. Be genuine and friendly in your approach.
These simple gestures can make a huge impact on your guests. They will feel valued and special. Plus, you also build a connection with them and that can only improve your chances of return traffic.
People love a good laugh and they will definitely remember people who made them laugh. You don’t have to be a stand-up-comedian-level funny, but occasional and spot-on humour can help put a smile on your guests’ faces.
Use interesting stories. Inject a fresh take on historical data. Find fun and amusing contradictions. And remember, a borrowed joke is still a joke!
Free drinks, snacks, sunscreen (people always forget to bring their sunscreen), or fun amenities can make a huge difference in people’s experiences. This will show your guests that you actually care and you’re not just about the money.
For comprehensive day-long tours that cover multiple destinations, you can provide your guests with brochures or booklets at the start of the trip. This will help them follow along and get engaged throughout the tour.
Remember, it’s the small things that count.
Leave some room for flexibility on your tours to accommodate your guests’ special requests and listen to their needs. Some may need a few extra minutes to take photos; some may have special health needs that require you to stop the tour for a while. Listen, accommodate and help - they'll love you for it.
Now go get 'em, tiger!
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