TOUR ITINERARY EXECUTION
A Tour Guide need to execute tour itinerary arrangement in a smooth manner so that the Tourist Guide shall communicate effectively with the tourists on the arrangement, agreed time schedule and the various places to be visited or patronised. The Tourist Guide who is competent in executing tour itinerary arrangement shall be able to analyse tour itinerary contents and its arrangement, carry out tour itinerary, carry out alternative arrangement for contingencies, adhere to safety, security and emergency procedures and report tour itinerary execution
WORK ACTIVITIES :
- Analyse tour itinerary content and its arrangement
- Carry out tour itinerary
- Carry out alternative arrangement for contingencies
- Adhere to safety, security and emergency procedures
- Report tour itinerary execution
1 ANALYSE TOUR ITINERARY CONTENT AND RELATED ARRANGEMENT
- Arrival Information & Preparation
- Activities of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3
- Meals arrangement(s) for each Day
- Related vouchers
- Departure Preparation
2 Carry out Itinerary
- Plan ahead, minimum a day before actual date what you need to do with the group
- Plan duration of stay at each visiting place.
- Plan when you will conduct briefing about each place, usually it should be done before arriving the place.
- Plan meals hours based on itinerary or extra request, remind restaurant etc
- Plan where to stop for a rest room break
- Prepare safety reminders text to announce to the guests before they get down from the bus
- Plan with bus driver which tour routes to follow, where to stop and targeted hour to arrive at each place
2.2 Conduct Tour
- Start with a welcome speech for arrival / Start with a greeting speech on the following day
- Conduct an overall briefing for that particular’s day activities from start till end.
- Conduct information dissemination about the next place of visit as per itinerary
- Ensure your information is not too lengthy as the guests would also like to view scenery at their windows.
- From time to time, you can highlight brief information about what they see from their windows
- If there are any prominent landmarks, you need to make a quick information dissemination about it upon passing the landmark
- Remind guests 5 minutes before arrival at a tour place
- Remind time duration of visit and when they must be back in the bus
- Remind them the bus plate number and any information that could help them to detect the bus
- Brief safety measures at the tour place
- Set a meeting place upon completion of the tour
- Follow the guests to the place and during the tour
- BE RESPONSIBLE ! DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE
- Continue explaining to them the things they see along the tour
2.3 MEALS ARRANGEMENTS along Tour
- Obtain copies of the restaurant menu ahead of tour
- Plan what happens if the tour is late
- Logistic of eating at the restaurant that you plan to visit such parking lot for the bus sitting capacity
- If meals not included in tour itinerary, any other places of eateries available
- Other considerations such as whether the restaurant serves alcohol/ halal food/vegetarian food.
2. Carry out Meal arrangement
- Check meal arrangement as per specification.
- Check everyone is seated
- Give adequate time for tour members to eat their meals
- Coordinate with the restaurant
The following are considerations when making (ad-hoc) meals arrangement:
- Type of food
- Location and Distance
- Bus parking
3 CARRY OUT ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENT FOR CONTINGENCIES
Contingency Plan is mostly referred to by many as ‘Plan B’. This is a standby plan which may need to be to executed in a tour if the original plan does not work due to the following possible reasons :
- Transport breakdown
- Road accident
- Emergency cases
- Unforeseen circumstances etc..
If any of the above cases occured during a tour, a responsible tour guide needs to take the following actions :
- Assess the problem
- Inform the tour agent immediately
- Calm the tourists
- Ensure tourists safety is placed as highest priority
- Inform the tourists of corrective measures taken
- Arrange alternative transport, tour itinerary, meal arrangement and time re-schedule. In some cases, and optional tour or even a recreational activities can be arranged.
- Use the waiting time to conduct briefings etc..
- Record all events which have occured and to be reported later
- (optional) Write a letter of apology later to the tourists involved
3.1 Arrange Alternative Transport Facilities
In the case of a transport breakdown or should there be an accident along the tour etc..
- Notify the tour agent and request for an alternative transport
- Carryout optional activities to pre-occupy the tourists while rescue is on the way
- If delay permits, start another activity such as short walking
- Communicate regularly with the tour agent of latest rescue update and update the information immediately to the tourists
- Last resort : call an optional charter service
In cases as such, complaints are inevitable, thus minimizing complaints is an art which must be learnt by experience.
3.2 Arrange Alternative Tour Itinerary
It is important to prepare an alternative itinerary as a contingency plan in case the actual itinerary faces unforeseen problems.
- The tour agent must be notified of all contingency itinerary plan
- Have a list of available places to visit for potential replacements
- Check the duration of stay of the guests. If the guests are only staying for 2 days, find the option(s) to take them to the place(s) that can be covered within the period
- Check with the guests whether they are interested to go to the places you have suggested
- Check the budget. Be sure the new destinations are within the budget. If it is
- not, other alternative must be taken. Check with the tour agent whether the new destination which may incur extra budget is permitted or claimable. Check also who will bear the extra cost.
- Should the new destination exceed the present budget, the guests must be informed accordingly. Get their approval of the extra cost they have to pay.
- Upon agreement with the guests and the tour agent of new destinations and budget, a tour guide may now proceed with the alternative itinerary
3.3 Arrange Alternative Meal Arrangements
In the event of unexpected cases such as guests are not familiar with the food arranged or the restaurant has other unforeseen problems, the following steps can be arranged :
- Notify the tour agent
- Obtain a list of available restaurants within the vicinity and within the same budget range
- In case the new restaurant requires extra budget, inform the agent immediately and get approval and further instruction
- If the guests have to bear the extra cost they must be informed and agreed
- Verify the mode of payment whether the restaurant accepts cash or credit card
- Obtain clearance from the agent and guests before proceeding with alternative meal arrangement
- Note all changes and write a report to the agent
3.4 Arrange Alternative Time Schedule
The day(s) and time of a planned itinerary can change due to the following possibilities
- Delay in guests arrival
- Problem(s) at the places listed in a planned itinerary
- Problem(s) in getting a suitable transport
- Guests have requested a postponement
- Guests have requested a time changed, eg from morning to afternoon
- Guests have requested extra venues to visit
If any of the above occurs, the following venues will be affected :
- Accommodation venue
- Restaurant if meals have been arranged
- Transport if it has been arranged
- Other venues (especially entertainment) which have been booked
A guide may be required to carry out the following :
- Notify all affected venues of a new time schedule.
- If cancellation fees is required, this must be notified to both the agent and the
- guests. Agreement on who will bear the cost must be clearly defined
- A new itinerary may need to be planned
3.5 Recommend New Itinerary
A new itinerary may need to be proposed if :
- The guests are not satisfied with the present itinerary
- The present itinerary cannot be executed due to unforeseen circumstances
- Part of the itinerary is rejected by the guests
- Part of the itinerary need to be cancelled due to valid reasons
If any of the above occurs, a tour guide may be needed to take the following actions :
- Propose a new itinerary
- Get feedback from the guests and the agent
- Upon agreement from both parties, the new itinerary can be executed