OPTIONAL TOURS EXECUTION
- Identify optional tours suitability for tourist
- Promote optional tours to the tourist
- Carry out optional tours to the tourist
What is an optional tour?
Optional tour is additional tour which are not in the itinerary. It may be carried out based on the following reasons :
- Guests have extra time, meaning the daily activities in existing itinerary have been completed either earlier than scheduled or it has been arranged as such
- The guests have requested for extra tours
- Promotional activities suggested by travel agents for new places of interests
- Promotional activities invited by a new place of interest
- If additional cost is incurred, guests have agreed to pay
A tourist guide needs to be alert of all popular destinations in any region that he is conducting a tour.
1 IDENTIFY OPTIONAL TOURS SUITABILITY FOR TOURIST
When a tour guide organize optional tour, it is better if they have experienced in tour guiding at the destination which have been suggested either by the guests or by the guide himself.
In some cases, some tour guide may have not experience at such places as it has been suggest by the guest. In this situation, the tourist guide must try to take the opportunity to visit destinations and then able to provide experiential knowledge to his guests.
Get Tour brochures
Tour brochures are most commonly found at places that tourist frequently visit, such as museums, major shops and tourist information. Tour brochure which can usually be found at brochure racks or stands may suggest visits to amusement parks and other places of interest.
Tour brochures contain several pages including a table of contents, information about the operator of the place, special features and discounts and information about activities at the place. These pages are designed to excite the reader and convince the tourists that choosing a tour from this company is the correct decision.
After gaining sufficient information, tourist guide need to identify the suitability of a tour as follows :
- The place itself, whether it is interesting enough for the guests
- Distance from current location
- The entrance fees
- Time duration of the tour
- Availability of bus parking
- Age group, whether the guests are suitably fit for such activities
- The entrance fee, whether the guests are willing to pay, or is it free
- Safety measures of the place
- Facilities available such as restaurants and restrooms
- Majority votes in the group, whether most of them agreed to carry on with additional new tour
2 PROMOTE OPTIONAL TOURS TO THE TOURIST
- Very often, a new place of interest has been opened. They usually offer either a free tour for all, free entrance for the guide, or a discounted entrance fee for the guests.
- New places of interest usually depend on tourist guides and travel agents to carry out promotions for them.
- Tourist guide needs to get information on the place either from a brochure, or form a visit to the place. From the information, a guide needs to prepare a good storyline for promotional activites. The following information should be used for promotional purpose :
- Entrance price, whether it is agreeable by the guests
- Duration to complete a tour, whether it can be timely completed
- What attractions are available, therefore the reason to visit
- How many pax can be accepted at the place
- Facilities available such as restaurants, restrooms and souvenir shops
3 CARRY OUT OPTIONAL TOURS TO THE TOURIST
If the group has agreed to take up the optional tour, the tourist guides need to carry out optional tour as follows :
- Carry out information dissemination
- Abide by Code of Ethics. Do not take tourists to a place merely for a personal gains.
- Handle tour payment arrangement
- Handle tourist health, safety, security and emergency issues
- Provide information about visit requirement if applicable
- Brief tourists about do’s and don’ts at the place
- Advice tourist dress code requirement at the visiting places (water team park, hills resort, eco and nature tourism activities, mosque, restaurant, official events, etc)
- Carry out the outcome of the promotion and tours execution report
Organize Optional Tour or Recreational Activities
Optional tour and/or Recreational Activities may need to be organized for the following reasons :
- The present tour is not favoured by the guests
- The present tour cannot be completed due to unforeseen circumstances
- The guest have extended their stay and request extra tour(s) / activities
- The present tour completed earlier than expected and the guests request to have extra tour(s) / activities
If an agent has requested for a tour guide to conduct extra tour / recreational activities, the following checklist must be considered :
- The cost of extra tour/recreational activities and clear definition of who will bear the expenses incurred
- List of available tour / recreational activities / recreational centers must be obtained and proposed
- The agreement of the optional tour / recreational activities from both parties must be reached before executing the tour / activities
- The extra claimable guiding fees must be agreed by the agent
- The time available is within the duration of the optional tour / recreational activities
- All changes must be reported to the agent upon completion of an optional tour
- What are the reasons of carrying out an optional tour?