CU 5 : Tour Itinerary Execution

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

1 ANALYSE TOUR ITINERARY CONTENT AND RELATED ARRANGEMENT

  • Group Name
  • Destination
  • No of persons
  • Number of places
  • Time to spend at each place
  • Activities at each place
  • Meals arrangement
  • Other arrangement such as entry Fee, Voucher etc

1a TOUR ITINERARY:

  1. What is Tour Itinerary
  • It is a Tour Package information and program movement prepared by the travel agent  for tourists, it is a package which is bought/ chosen by the tourist.
  1. 2. Contents of Tour Itinerary:
  • Group Name
  • No. of pax
  • Date of arrival
  • Date of departure
  • Flight details: Flight No. , ETA, ETD
  • Meal arrangement
  • Hotel information
  • Visiting place
  • Time frame
  • Special request
  • Others
  1. 3 Who prepare tour itinerary
    • Tour agent, normally Operation Staff
  1. 4 Purpose of Tour Itinerary
  • as a guidance for Tourist Guide to conduct the tour accordingly such as organize their time, plan tour routing etc.
  • as a reference for tourists and to ensure that they receive the service according to the tour package that they bought/chose.
  1. 5 The importance of Tour Itinerary
  • to avoid unnecessary demand from the tourists
  • to plan tour route
  • easy to prepare contingency plan
  1. 6 When to distribute
  • Upon arrival – especially incentive group.
  • Some groups the itinerary is given to the tourist when they buy the tour package or before leaving their country
  • When to brief tour Itinerary 
  • in the coach (from pick up point such as KLIA to the hotel)

1b  MEALS ARRANGEMENTS

  1. Tourist guide should check meal arrangements
  2. Obtain copies of the restaurant menu in advance and
  3. The operating house of the restaurants
  4. The peak and slow hours
  5. The average serving time
  6. Will the restaurant closed for holidays
  7. Do you need to schedule an exact arrival time
  8. What happens if the tour is late
  9. If meals not included in tour itinerary, any other places of eateries available
  10. Cost consideration inclusive tips and special requests
  11. Logistic of eating at the restaurant that you plan to visit such parking lot for the bus sitting capacity
  12. Other considerations such as whether the restaurant serves alcohol/ halal food/vegetarian food.
  13. Ensure letter of confirmation from restaurants etc are bind in a folder
  • Main meals arrangement
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Supper
  1. During the tour, Tourist Guide need  to perform the following
  2. Check meal arrangement as per specification.
  3. Check everyone is seated
  4. Give adequate time for tour members to eat their meals
  5. Tourist Guides have to arrange meal

The following are considerations when making (ad-hoc) meals arrangement:

  • Cost
  • Three sit down, gourmet meals a day?
  • Casual Breakfast & lunch with a formal dinner?
  • Ethnic food?
  • Western Style?
  • Vegetarian?
  • Meals that are an experience?
  • Meals that are a necessity?

1c  ACCOMMODATION RESERVATION

Sheltering your guest is one of the most important aspects in guiding. As a Tourist Guide it is part of your challenge to make your guest feel at home as possible whether it is a five star hotel or in a pup tent on a remote island.

  1. Checklist
    • Review the following check list when you plan your guest’s accommodation arrangement:
  • Tour members expectation such as five star accommodation, historical architecture, clean and comfortable at affordable price etc
  • Other alternatives to conventional hotel such as inns, resorts and university dorms
  • Amenities and conveniences such as private washroom, room service, spa, gym, porter, wheelchair, lounge, pub, laundry, entertainment, shops and money exchanger
  1. 2 Types of accommodation
    • Hotel in Malaysia is rated as STAR and ORCHID. Malaysia offers a wide range of accommodation at competitive rates. The following are some examples of accommodation available in Malaysia:
  • International Class hotels such as Allson Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott hotel, Pan Pacific and Quality Hotel
  • Local Chain hotels such as Hotel Seri Malaysia
  • Resort Hotel such as Pangkor  Laut, D’Lagoon Pulau Perhentian and Port Dickson Golf and Country Club
  1. Reservation
  2. In a normal practice, Hotel reservation is done by the travel agent. Tourist Guide need to check whether the hotel voucher is given by the agent when collecting the tour assignment,

During the tour

Tourist guide should get  guest list from  the agent  so that it is easy for the guide to make hotel rooming list during hotel check in

1d  Check for Voucher / Payment / Due from Tour Leader / Tourist

  1. Sometimes Tourist Guide need to collect payment from Tour Leader or Tourists. Therefore, whatever arrangement is made, tourist guide need to ensure proper invoices, voucher and receipts are in proper order.
  1. Always confirm both amount and method of Payment from tour leader/ tourist pre tour. Payment can be:
  2. One or more pre-payments of all or portions of the ultimate amount- most favorable arrangement
  3. On the spot payment by cash, traveler’s cherub or credit card at the time of check-in of the group or at the checkout of the group.
  4. Credit and Post-tour billing to a credit card number
  5. Any combination of the above

1e  CHECK FLIGHT DETAILS INFORMATION

  1. Many tours begin and end in an airport terminal. It is important that guide should be able to read airline timetable and also handling of tourist arrival and departure in the most professional way.
  2. KLIA Arrival Hall – Level 3: the TG should check Flight No. &  ETA to confirm the terminal ( International or Domestic)

1F  Check Luggage Handling Arrangements

  1. Tourist Guide need to check luggage handling arrangement with the travel agent .
  2. For a group with more than 20 members, some agents use luggages Lorries to handle the luggage, but some agents do not use those facilities to cut cost. In this case, luggage are loaded into the luggage compartment of the coach

1g  CHECK MEET AND GREET

  1. Tourist Guide should check Meet and Greet information from the agent
  2. The check list:
  3. Play Card – if pick up point other than KLIA
  4. Time to depart to the pick up point
  5. Coach driver contact number
  SAMPLE OF HOTEL ROOMING LIST  

NAME OF GROUP                :                                              

ACCT NO:

AGENT NAME                       :                                              

NUMBER OF PERSON        :

ARRIVAL                                :                                               TIME   :

DEPARTURE                         :                                               TIME   :

NEXT DESTINATION          :                                               WAKE-UP CALL (TIME):

NUMBER OF LUGGAGE      :                                               LUGGAGE COLLECTION    :

GROUP MEAL ARRANGEMENT

Breakfast        :                                   Date    :                                   Time    :

Lunch              :                                   Date    :                                   Time    :

Dinner             :                                   Date    :                                   Time    :

Rooms

Single        :_____                   Twin    :_______         Triple   :_____                        

Quad         :_____                   Comp  :_______         Others :_____

 

 2 CARRY OUT TOUR ITINERARY

  • Checklist before departure
  • Delivery of commentary
  • Reminders etc

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 : 

  1. Transport breakdown
  2. Road accident
  3. Cancellation
  4. Delays
  5. Emergency cases
  6. Death
  7. Unforeseen circumstances etc..

If any of the above cases occured during a tour, a responsible tour guide needs to take the following actions :

  1. Assess the problem
  2. Inform the tour agent immediately
  3. Calm the tourists
  4. Ensure tourists safety is placed as highest priority
  5. Inform the tourists of corrective measures taken
  6. 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.
  7. Use the waiting time to conduct briefings etc..
  8. Record all events which have occured and to be reported later
  9. (optional) Write a letter of apology later to the tourists involved

3a Arrange Alternative Transport Facilities

In the case of a transport breakdown or should there be an accident along the tour etc..

  1. Notify the tour agent and request for an alternative transport
  2. Carryout optional activities to pre-occupy the tourists while rescue is on the way
  3. If delay permits, start another activity such as short walking
  4. Communicate regularly with the tour agent of latest rescue update and update
    1. the information immediately to the tourists
  5. 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.

3b Arrange Alternative Tour Itinerary

It is important to prepare an alternative itinerary as a contingency plan in case the actual itinerary faces unforeseen problems.

  1. The tour agent must be notified of all contingency itinerary plan
  2. Have a list of available places to visit for potential replacements
  3. 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
  4. Check with the guests whether they are interested to go to the places you have suggested
  5. Check the budget. Be sure the new destinations are within the budget. If it is
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Upon agreement with the guests and the tour agent of new destinations and budget, a tour guide may now proceed with the alternative itinerary

3c Arrange Alternative Accommodation

In extreme cases, this can also happen when guests are not satisfied with the present accommodation, or perhaps the present accommodation is not what they had expected or asked for. When an alternative accommodation has to be arranged, note the following :

  1. Notify the tour agent
  2. Obtain a list of available hotels / resorts of similar class as the original and
    1. within the same range of budget
  3. Verify the mode of billing and payments allowed such as cash or credit card
    1. before communicating back to the tour agent
  4. Should there be a delay in processing / re-arranging an alternative
    1. accommodation, take the guests to other destination while waiting for clearance
  5. All changes that had taken place must be reported to the agent for follow ups  

3d 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 :

  1. Notify the tour agent
  2. Obtain a list of available restaurants within the vicinity and within the same budget range
  3. In case the new restaurant requires extra budget, inform the agent immediately and get approval and further instruction
  4. If the guests have to bear the extra cost they must be informed and agreed
  5. Verify the mode of payment whether the restaurant accepts cash or credit card
  6. Obtain clearance from the agent and guests before proceeding with alternative meal arrangement
  7. Note all changes and write a report to the agent

3e Arrange Alternative Time Schedule

The day(s) and time of a planned itinerary can change due to the following possibilities

  1. Delay in guests arrival
  2. Problem(s) at the places listed in a planned itinerary
  3. Problem(s) in getting a suitable transport
  4. Guests have requested a postponement
  5. Guests have requested a time changed, eg from morning to afternoon
  6. Guests have requested extra venues to visit

If any of the above occurs, the following venues will be affected :

  1. Accommodation venue
  2. Restaurant if meals have been arranged
  3. Transport if it has been arranged
  4. Other venues (especially entertainment) which have been booked

A guide may be required to carry out the following :

  1. Notify all affected venues of a new time schedule.
  2. If cancellation fees is required, this must be notified to both the agent and the
  3. guests. Agreement on who will bear the cost must be clearly defined
  4. A new itinerary may need to be planned

3f Recommend New Itinerary

A new itinerary may need to be proposed if :

  1. The guests are not satisfied with the present itinerary
  2. The present itinerary cannot be executed due to unforeseen circumstances
  3. Part of the itinerary is rejected by the guests
  4. 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 :

  1. Propose a new itinerary
  2. Get feedback from the guests and the agent
  3. Upon agreement from both parties, the new itinerary can be executed

3g Organize Optional Tour or Recreational Activities

Optional tour and/or Recreational Activities may need to be organized for the following reasons :

  1. The present tour is not favoured by the guests
  2. The present tour cannot be completed due to unforeseen circumstances
  3. The guest have extended their stay and request extra tour(s) / activities
  4. The present tour completes 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 :

  1. The cost of extra tour/recreational activities and clear definition of who will bear the expenses incurred
  2. List of available tour / recreational activities / recreational centers must be obtained and proposed
  3. The agreement of the optional tour / recreational activities from both parties must be reached before executing the tour / activities
  4. The extra claimable guiding fees must be agreed by the agent
  5. The time available is within the duration of the optional tour / recreational activities
  6. All changes must be reported to the agent upon completion of an optional tour

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