THE E-MAGAZINE THAT FOCUSES ON THE REALITY OF SELLING TRAVEL
PLUS The O&M The EDGE The Frontline The BDM
In this issue THE TOUR GUIDE ISSUE
What a way to make money! Creating a tour to the places you love, leading the tour and then staying on after you wave farewell to your group and wait to receive the next one. When you become a tour guide for your own tours you can attract more clients just because you are going along, leading the tour. The buck stops with you and your clients know this. If there are any hassles along the way, they know you will take care if it all. If not you, how about hiring in tour guides who might even have their own group following? Yes, tour guides can BOOST your group sales! Don’t forget, if you need help with anything you see in Selling Travel I am as close as your email or Skype button.
Best regards, Steve Crowhurst, CTM Publisher www.sellingtravel.net email@example.com www.facebook.com/sellingtravel Skype: smptraining1 T: 250‐752‐0106 CHECK FOR WEBINARS HERE
“TAKE MY LEAR!” – My First Group THE O&M – Hiring Tour Guides THE PIED PIPER ATTRACTION PACKAGE THE EDGE – The Tour Guide in You! FROM TRAVEL AGENT TO TOUR GUIDE LOCATION INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL THE TOUR GUIDING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STEVE GILLICK – What The Tour Guide Taught. SAMPLE JOB CRITERIA – What Suppliers Are Looking For. CORY ANDRICHUK – Prospecting For Groups / LinkedIn THE EXTREME BDM – Selling Your TGs. SIMPLY SOCIAL WEBINAR USEFUL ADDRESSES
Selling Travel is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. Selling Travel can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in anyway monetized. Using any images or content from Selling Travel must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com” SMP Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1G1 Note: Steve Crowhurst is not responsible for outcomes based on how you interpret or use the ideas in Selling Travel or on the Selling Travel Website.
Yes I know. It’s not for everyone, but it could be for you! I’ve done this and oh boy, it is a shock to the system and your skills at handling that stuff when it hits the fan will be tested by fire that’s for sure. However, once you get in there and you learn the ropes… well your family may never see you again! With all the technology at your service today, the tour guiding profile fits the TRAVEL AGENT Ng perfectly.
How about making more money? Thought that might grab your attention. I know a few people who guide for the major firms and rumour has it, that on tips alone, they are clearing $80,000 plus and working just the May – October period. Yes please! First things first before you set off. Read this issue and do your homework and then source the best course for you. Get certified and then you’ll have your travel experience plus your tour guide certification to bundle up and promote. There are webinars in the wind, so hold on to your backpack. Stay tuned with The Travel Institute and CITC and of course my own ST webinars too. Back with us for April is Cory Andrichuk – yes, ‘The Coach’ – Cory Andrichuk of brandUcoaching and also Steve Gillick returns too, master tour guide, adventurer, storyteller back with another great article. Let’s go make something happen! Let me know what you need! Creatively Yours!
Steve Crowhurst Author, Trainer, Columnist, Keynote Speaker, Publisher and world traveller.
One of my first tours was to lead a group of corporate types up to northern Canada, to view the Mackenzie Delta. So, what do you do when the NWT’s Commissioner’s Lear jet is not warmed up to take off. Well, you hunt around for any alternative transportation. Found a couple of cigar chomping bush pilots with an old DC3 that would fly illegally under 1,000 ft over Great Slave Lake! Read on…
Said the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories At the time I was working for Thomas Cook, Edmonton as a Senior Travel Consultant. The call came in for our manager, Dave McLean and head office advised him about a group of Europeans all senior executives managing the docks and waterway systems in Europe. It seemed that this group wanted to arrive in Edmonton and then be escorted north to check out the Mackenzie Delta and take in the northern cities of Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. In those days, we didn’t quibble about things like, “Well, you can go but this will come out of your vacation!” Or, “Well, okay you can go but consider it a FAM!” In those days it was all about getting the job done. Manager Dave told us of the group and their needs and looked at me and naturally I was already out the door and packing! Go north! Are you kidding me? The day came and I met the group and off we went. Well I’m telling you, from… well let’s see from senior consultant to instant tour leader travelling to a place I’d only dreamt about… it’s one of those suck it up situations where you say “Sure!” and then work it out seconds after. There really wasn’t too much to do other than discuss life in Canada, in the west, the challenges of living and working in the north. That was my job – until things went slightly off plan. All the arrangements went along just fine. The heads of the various stops along the way turned up, they showed my group what they wanted to see and they were loving every minute. We had journeyed all the way north to Inuvik and even managed to fit in a side journey to Tuk’. We stayed at the Eskimo Inn. Locals would come in to the lobby, stamp around, drop a cigarette butt on the carpet and grind it out with their boot.
This was unbelievable to members of my group who were still dressed in their finely cut suites, shirts and ties, pointing at the smouldering butt. We were doing well schedule wise and we arrived into Yellowknife for a date with the then NWT Commissioner Stuart Hodgson. We had received a written invitation to join the commissioner and his wife for dinner and it was towards the end of the evening that the commissioner said to me, “Take my Lear!” So I cancelled the PWA flight to Hay River and looked forward to my first flight on a Lear jet. This is were the problem solving skills of a tour guide comes in. As it turned out the Lear was on the tarmac, but the pilot had not arrived early enough to warm the engines. Guess what? No Lear jet flight for YOU! No PWA flights either. All cancelled. What do you do? Well you stomp off around the airport looking in each hangar shouting “Any planes to rent?” Eventually I found two guys sitting around an old DC3 – yes with props. Right out of the movie come two guys with leatherneck helmets, and one of them with a stogie about an inch fat. We do a deal and he fires ‘er up, trundles over to where my group are hanging out and we climb aboard and off we go… flying under the cloud cover, under 1,000 above Great Slave Lake. That’s illegal, but what the hell! I’m in the first row, seated behind the pilot’s open door, or no door if I recall. His green cigar is now smoking and wafting back to me… and that’s when I filled one of those sick bag thangs. Don’t know why, but that cigar just killed me – and to the delight and laughter of my European members of The Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses. That was 1973! Did I mention humping luggage up flights of stairs at each stop? The highlight and learning curve was… you got it, don’t cancel anything. Yet!
I know you want to generate more group bookings and there are so many ways to make that happen. One of them is to build a tour guide strategy that involves you and members of your team becoming tour guides and or, hiring in existing, well trained tour guides to lead your tour programs.
The reason why tour guides attract new business is that they will be your tour guides, they will be representing your agency and they will be onsite and on call. In this day and age of travel safety being a top requirement for the travelling consumer, the fact that you send along your own tour guide will be a huge bonus for your clients. As you read through this issue of ST you will find information and ideas to help you make this happen. In the mean time there’s an opportunity for you to be first in your community to offer this service. Not only can you attract more group business by promoting your tour guides, you can also attract fee based business by offering your tour guides to lead the tours of others – such as school tours going overseas and even inbound tours too. Hiring a tour guide is quite simple. They should be certified and have the right credentials and supporting documentation as proof to show you. If they don’t – then it’s a quick thanks but no thanks. Out of the 500 resumes and bios you might receive after you place an ad, this one criteria will drop the short list to a just a few. Perhaps you now have five individuals to interview. Next you’ll be asking about their previous tours, who they have worked for, hopefully leading tour companies, and once again, you’ll want to see documentation, photographs and references that you can call to check each person’s credentials.
Most certified tour guides are trained in basic safety and first aid. Today you will want to test their knowledge of and ability to use mobile phone applications (APPS) especially for requesting SOS help, doctors and any other APP that will support and service a travel safety issue. Personality and commitment are key traits you will need to review. These tour guides will be agency ambassadors for you and your team. You will need to fulfill on any and all reference checks, police records etc., especially if children and young people are going to be on your tours. Start listing what you want in your tour guide’s personality and experience. You might just have the right person already working for you!
Here’s something from the Selling Travel archives, leave it with you to update it in accordance with your own pied piper / tour guiding goals. The focus is on attracting existing tour directors, leaders & guides with their own following – a quick way to build your group business. A qualified tour guide can be attracted to bring their business to you if you have something worthwhile to offer them. Read though this collection of tips I’ve found over the years and see if this idea can work for you. You can also use this same checklist to attract well travelled clients who are friendly and articulate and at an age when they might want to take on the role of a travel guide, leader, pied piper for your agency. Don’t forget, you should request that your new hires gain their certification first.
(Your Travel Agency Name) Travel has been a leader in group travel for nearly ___ years and has created the following “Steps to Selling Group Travel.” These steps explain facts that will guide you through the promotion and sale of successful group travel program that your or (NAME) Travel arranges, designs and markets. Yes, it does take some time and effort, but the rewards can be great! The first steps begin with knowing how to get started. These steps are ready to be discovered and laid out in an orderly fashion. (NAME) Travel wants to help you become the group expert in your area. Change to suit your own needs. 1. Why Do People Choose Escorted Group Tours? Companionship: Friends with similar interests like to travel together and want to make new friends. Like‐minded people choose similar tour and travel experiences. Education:
Travellers learn history, geography, cultures and much more from trained Tour Guides and each other, while on tour.
Travellers feel more secure in groups and are confident with a Tour Guide who knows the destination well.
Groups provide a fun atmosphere and there’s always someone to talk to and share the experience with – or send their experience throughout their social networks.
All the trip details, transportation, meals, lodging and paid attractions are handled through one source.
Cost is spread out over the entire group. Plus, there are additional savings including paid attractions, meals, taxes and gratuities that have been arranged to provide the best value possible. It is more economical to travel with a group than putting the travel arrangements together yourself!
Add your own ideas here:
2. How Does Group Travel Benefit You The Tour Guide? Your group tour is arranged by our group team and preferred suppliers who are Convenient Package: professional tour operators allowing you more time to concentrate on the sales and marketing to your contacts. Easy to Sell:
The benefits of group travel appeal to travellers and make it easy for you to sell. Assistance provided by us and the tour operator makes it even easier! Satisfied travellers tell their friends and you become the travel professional for all their group travel needs. Satisfied travellers become your sales team and their word of mouth influences future travellers.
Tour Operators generally offer one seat in 16 free. Sometimes it is 30, or 50. These “tour conductor” seats can be offered to a member of the group, or you could take the seat or the value of that seat could be prorated over the entire group.
Higher Repeat Factor:
Groups become comfortable travelling together and will continue travelling again and again. Once the groups needs are determined it becomes easier to provide those features for every tour there after, thus instilling loyal repeat group travellers!
Add your own ideas here:
3. Why Work With Our Preferred and Professional Tour Operators? They Know What Groups q Evaluate and know the hot destinations. Want and Need in Their q Pricing ability to match the groups to the best product for them. Touring Experience: q Can determine what the group wants and what they should do. They Staff Up to Meet Demands:
Professional tour operators have the staff to meet all of your operational, accounting, marketing and sales needs. These benefits allow you to concentrate on selling, not planning.
Operational Considerations Handled by the Operator:
q q q q
Buying power in bulk for hotels and attractions. Rooming lists, changes, documents, etc. handled by the operator. No minimums required for your group. One click or call usually handles everything.
Minimum Number of Travellers Does Not Affect Individual Tour Costs:
Canadian and United States Regulations: Public and Professional Liability: OTHER:
Operators monitor possible increases in taxes or surcharges.
Insurance liability through errors and omissions is required.
The cost of the tour is spread across all passengers. You do not have to worry about pricing the tour at 25 or 30 that would convey a higher per person cost. q Major hotel and attraction deposits are covered by the operator. q Non‐refundable deposits are also covered through the operator.
Add your own ideas here:
4. Where Are The Groups? The key to finding groups is knowing where and how to look. Make it easy – What groups do you belong to that would want to travel? Promote group travel within your own sphere of influence. Individuals: Talk to people who walk into your office or people you know. Find out what clubs or organizations to which they belong. Market a group tour to individuals or friends who have like‐ minded interests. Emphasize the fun of travelling together! Sphere of Influence: Ask your friends, relatives and neighbors to act as contacts with groups in which they are involved. First begin by finding two to six people who want to travel and have them tell others. Be sure potential travellers know who is going along and ask them to join the group! Social network. Research: Find it online or use your local library. They often carry a local club/organization listing with descriptions, group leader names, phone numbers and addresses. Local chamber of commerce lists and local yellow pages are also a great source of information for potential groups. SOCIAL Network! Network! Network!: Here is a list of some high profile adult groups that often travel together and today you can also network and share via social media. Every tour guide should open their own Facebook business page and build a social following. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Adults Education Groups Alumni Associations Condo Associations Church Groups Community Groups Craft Clubs Garden and Craft Clubs Health Club Groups
9. Library Groups 10. Lions Club 11. Park District Clubs 12. Professional Associations 13. Active Senior Groups 14. Special Interest Groups 15. Sports Clubs Other:
5. What Makes A Good Group Leader? The key to building groups is having excellent group leaders, or “Pied Pipers,” that will promote our tours and their own with enthusiasm. In addition, it is important to find a travel agency with whom you can work, feel comfortable and build a long‐term relationship for future group departures, like us. Someone with the ability to speak in front of a group and present materials Strong Promotional in a professional and upbeat manner. Skills: Good Salesmanship: Someone who knows how to get the group leaders or association director’s commitment and close a sale. Group Travel Experience: Someone who has been on a group tour, traveled extensively, or has actually led a group. This adds credibility. Follow‐up and Someone who has a good track record for turning current business and Organizational Skills: leads into future sales. Great People Skills: The key to a successful group leader is someone who is a good communicator, friendly, enthusiastic, trustworthy and thoroughly enjoys meeting new people.
6. How To Creatively And Effectively Market To Your Groups. Know Your Group and What They Like 1. Past tour history – ask where have they traveled before. 2. Seasonality ‐ time of year they like to travel. 3. Long or short tours ‐ duration of touring experience. 4. Cost ‐ type of touring experience. 5. Destinations ‐ geographic areas. 6. Transportation ‐ different modes for different folks. 7. Special Interest tours ‐ special activities or attractions. 8. Size of group ‐ number travelling. 9. Lead time ‐ will determine how far out you have to start promoting. Destinations: Know and understand the group to ensure a destination they will enjoy. Know and understand the destination you are marketing to your group to sell the key hot buttons they are looking for in their travel experiences. Benefits: Point out all the features and highlights of the tour. Let the benefits do the selling that they are most interested in experiencing. Giveaways: Use promotional items ‐ travel bags, baggage tags, and coupons for money off future group travel builds enthusiasm. Suppliers can offer items too. Travel: Many tour operators offer a free tour conductor’s seat or discounted travel based on the number of passengers booked. Be a leader, travel with the groups you book and show your commitment to the tours you promote. Advertising: Advertise through social media, radio, TV, local newspapers, newsletters, bulletins and magazines that will get more sales. Determine what works best and work that angle. Choose the advertising that will work in your area. Direct Mail: E‐mail regularly to local organizations. Send out flyers targeted to groups. Mail colorful flyers, postcards, calendars, past group travel pictures to interested travellers. Highlight key selling points and benefits on each sales piece that should include: q Sales message on the outside of an envelope with a catchy sales phrase. q Endorsements from past travellers. q Hand addressed envelope. q GOAL ‐ You want your clients to ACT now! q Attention to detail of special requests. Public Relations: Blog and e‐mail group travel articles to local newspapers and radio stations to build interest. Send announcements to the local media outlining where your tours are going and what your travellers will be seeing and doing while out on the specific tour! Use all social media outlets. Presentations: q Offer to attend group meetings and give a FREE travel presentation. q Schedule travel presentations featuring informative speakers, slides, videos, and literature. q Exhibit at community events.
Begin Promoting Early: Promote the tour at least eight months prior to your departure date. Up to one year prior for special dates. Having an established time line of promotions and marketing is very important to the success of the group and is covered in detail later in our group guide.
As you build your Pied Piper Attraction Package you’ll also want to create your advertising campaign and use whatever social media tools you are confident with. As you well know today, the sharing of information and swapping of photographs and telling one’s friends where you went on a tour is all happening online for a certain age bracket. Many of the old time marketing methods are still valid for some seniors and baby boomers clients. You can start your own Tour Guide webpage or website. You might want to create a mobile icon / APP for this too. How about printing your Tour Guide / Pied Piper Attraction Package online? Why not hold a consumer event and pitch to your clients about them becoming a Tour Guide? The idea is to use all the available connections you have to attract people who can not only lead a tour for you, but to also bring you new group business based on their own connections and or their sales and marketing skills.
…and dead ahead, we have an awesome experience for you… BUCKLE UP!
A BRAND NEW WEBINAR FOR TRAVEL AGENTS
USING THE POWER OF SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY TO BOOST SALES OUR TOPICS FOR THIS WEBINAR 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Hi! Why not join me, Steve Crowhurst for a fast paced, one‐hour webinar on how to turn your photos into new bookings and how you can enter the photography tour niche market, create photo contests for your clients and even generate sales of such premier products such as National Geographic Expeditions and earn commission. CLICK! YOUR WAY TO NEW COMMISSIONS!
What Is Social Photography? How Does Photography Factor Into My Sales? Choosing Your Camera - iPhone To Pro The Travel Colour Palette Using Colour, B&W And Sepia Ordinary+ Does The Job The Photography Tour Niche Market Your Photography Tour e-Brochure Attracting Non Travel Suppliers As Sponsors Get In The Picture Yourself Editing Tips And Tools Selling Your Photographs Window Displays Your Photos As Art Posters Social Photographic Sites
Did you know that photography is a sister industry to travel? Well, it sure is and today, almost every traveller has a camera or gadget that can take pictures and record video. One of the most shared items via social media is photographs and reports say that others are inspired to travel when they see their friends holiday shots. What does it all mean? It means that YOU as a cutting edge travel agent must know more about how to use your own photography to boost your sales via email, your agency window and social sites too. DATE: Monday April 30th, 2012 Time: 9am Pacific
HANDOUT INCLUDED REGISTER HERE: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/join/876713470/106970914
What’s going on? Are you sitting at home wondering where your next sale is coming from – or are you planning the most exciting group experience since Cook created the Grand Tour? Let’s go for the later. Did you know that being independent and able to go whenever you can afford both time and money – you could, very quickly be creating designer tours to places you want to visit and promote yourself as the tour guide too. Nice. You will need to get yourself certified and that will cost you some of that time and money that you have stashed away. It might be an excellent investment if you believe you have the personality to lead and guide 20, 30, 45 like minded individuals around the world and back. Let’s say you have survived the course and you are now a Certified Tour Guide to international standards. What’s your next move? No time to waste here, your goal is to earn back what you spent on obtaining your credential and then generate some profit. Your plan then is to create your tours, set them up, select the departure dates, market your tour and yourself as the tour guide and then collect deposits, final payments and off you go. During the tour you are shooting a lot of video, shooting stills and also social networking to your fans and followers back home who are eagerly glued to their tablet computers and waiting on your every missive. How does this sound so far? Alright. There’s your mission. Or, you could stay sat at the kitchen table trying to close a $300 cruise. The Edge Font: Baby Kruffy
I’m looking for real‐time challenges that stop you from being the best you can be. Be sure to include your email and website links. Thanks! If you are in the travel industry all ready, chances are you have the tour guide gene in you somewhere. If you are a parent, have raised kids, handled tough situations, can explain something over and over again, coached a sports team, supervised a department, worked with later deliveries, shipments and people who are just not ready when they should be… well, you are almost there! You’ve got the skills. Now they need to be honed and certified. Next question: Would you like to stay put and tour guide around your own ‘hood, region, area, state, province, country? You can if you wish. Or, for the footloosers out there, you can go wide screen and the world is your tour guiding oyster. As you will read in this issue, you can lead your own tours, someone else’s tours, even the tours of major travel firms who offer the travelling public tours around the world. Many of these tour companies hold interviews once each year and on your own nickel you fly in and deliver your best stand up and you have a 50/50 chance. If you do not go, then you have no chance. If you’ve taken my Travel Writing webinar, then how about writing as you are guiding? Now there’s a combination that just makes you want to run away to see. There’s so much to do in this business is there not? What’s it going to be then?
IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES! HERE YOU ARE WITH 5, 10, 15, 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. YOU’VE TRAVELLED THE WORLD TO 20 OR MORE COUNTRIES, PERHAPS CRUISED A DOZEN TIMES, CLIMBED A FEW PEAKS AND WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR TRAVELS TOO. LET’S PUT THAT ALL TOGETHER AND ADD A NEW DIMENSION TO YOUR AGENCY AND YOUR TRAVEL TRADE CAREER. Here’s what the schematic would look like. Everything you have done in your career leads you to a life of guiding others around the globe. We’ll assume you are now a qualified tour guide, director, manager and go from that point.
Elsewhere in this issue we discuss the business options and opportunities for the travel agency – now let’s focus on you! YOU could be, at this moment in time, an agency owner, manager, supervisor, front line or home based agent. Your knowledge base could be leisure, corporate, group, specialty /niche or a combination of all. Whatever you have tucked away as the knowledge you have acquired bring it out now. On the table.
What Do You Know? This question often ends up with a confused face staring back. Reason being many times we just do what we do, day in day out. It’s second nature. When asked to itemize what we do, we draw a blank. So now, it’s time to fully understand what it is you actually know. Sit with a cup of coffee, a pad and a pen and just start jotting down in bullet format key points. Go to the keyboard if you’ve forgotten how to ‘long hand’ as a young person advised me recently. Don’t forget your language skills. The Travel Journalist / Blogger in You If you did combine your travel trade know‐how with your tour guiding role you can now plug in those other talents and especially the travel writing side of you. If you’ve attended my Travel Writing for Travel Agents webinar you’ll still have the tips and tools and ideas we discussed. With all the current and very available technology I’ll ask you to imagine once again – you, sitting ‘there’ – laptop or iPad on the café table, pumping our a life‐on‐the‐road ode, or, advise about the city you are in then uploading to your personal blog, or your Boots’N’All account, your TravelBlog account – your Facebook account and if you are fully equipped with an iPhone or similar, then you could video your impressions and vlog it out to your social networks. The Local Guiding Life If you are a bit of a home body you can still work on your tour guiding career, by offering inbound groups your tour guiding services. There would be local city tours that you may want to guide.
THE LIFE OF THE DIGITAL NOMAD
I love those words! Location Independent Professional. How about you? Can you dig it? Can ya do it? Do you know what it means? It means you can do your job from anywhere in the world. Especially if you are in the travel business. That’s right. Now before you pack up and move overseas, there are a few need to know items – however, that’s not the purpose of this article. Read on.
In this day and age tour guiding, local guides, step‐on guides, tour leaders, directors, managers, drivers, camp setup artists, railway guides and yes YOU, good old travel agent leading your own agency tours to and through any one of 192 countries… YOU are, you can be ‐ a Location Independent Professional. As you may know, some travel companies, tour firms, suppliers have their area reps, local reps, local guides living locally. They’ve been exported then imported to live and travel onsite. How does that suit your lifestyle, business style, group sales plans? What if you were:
An expert guide who is an advanced Whiskey Specialist and a certified interpretive guide providing translation and informative commentary throughout the tour of Scotland and Ireland.
The digital nomad is also a client! Yeah. Who knew? Yes they are and many of them are located in your corporate account list. Others, of a younger age are also working in the concrete towers, and running their own businesses and might jump at the chance to be on the road with YOU, using all things mobile to pump out a “you gotta see this!” message supported by a Tweet, a honk, a vid, a Ujam jingle, a quick Ustream broadcast and a piping hot Animoto! The Digital Nomad Tour Guide… There are DMTGs out there already ‐ all you have to do is put a call out for them and see who turns up on your Skype to chat. I’m referring to people on the move, travelling and or locationally positioned for a few weeks and someone who knows the area and who could receive your Digital Nomad Tour of Tokyo Group, or Olso, or London. Don’t stop at the younger age group, there are many boomers and seniors and wealthy people too who know a
good nomad when they see one. So pitch to these groups too and you might find a 90 year old all‐things‐mobile guru who would love to lead a few 60 year olds around the globe. Better rev’ up your smart‐everything and tap into this brave new world of group tours. Have fun!
Or… An art lover, well schooled in the galleries of Europe and their collections…
Perhaps… A travel agency owner with a desire to see the world through the window of every upscale café in every city you journey to! This lifestyle might be better suited to someone that is actually footloose and fancy free, no business tie downs, owns a bag full of digital gadgets and can spin on a click to set up wherever they are, be in touch and not only lead that group, but also pitch, blog and vlog to the world. This is similar to my article on Travel Agent Ng (Next Generation). If you aren’t going, it might be a profile you could hire into your stable of tour guides.
Guest Article by Steve Gillick, CTM firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s so clear in my mind today, considering it happened in 1975. As tour guides we met every Sunday in the late afternoon to receive our itineraries for the upcoming week’s tours. Chris, the head of Keating Tours hesitated a minute and then asked “Who knows American history”? I raised my hand, as I was a history major at the University of Toronto, currently studying Canadian‐American relations. Chris said, “Good…you’re going to Washington tomorrow”. I said “I have only spent 3 hours in Washington in my life and that was on a day trip from Philadelphia two years ago. I don’t know anything about the place other than where the Capital Building and the train station are located”. Chris said, “Well that’s more than anyone else so you are doing the trip. Don’t worry. The coach driver will know the city”. The next morning at 6:00 am I met the driver. His greeting was “I’ve never been to Washington so you just sit behind me and tell me where to turn”. We had a Triptik from CAA and an itinerary with some addresses and phone numbers, and lots of places scheduled for visits. The driver in fact had rarely been in the U.S, as he did not even know how to get from Toronto to the U.S. border. And of course, about eleven hours later when we finally found the hotel for the group of 40 students and 4 teachers, a severe thunderstorm hovered over us, only matched by my severe migraine, and the severe anxiety of the diabetic head teacher who was overdue for his medication. The long and the short of it, was that we survived, thanks to friendly Washingtonians who provided good directions, and due to what I had been taught as a tour guide. Now, fast forward to 2012 and you would never have had this situation. First off, the bus would be equipped with a GPS and therefore we would never have bypassed that crucial exit to go into the city at Wisconsin Avenue and end up circling the Washington Beltway for another 40 minutes. Instead of relying on pay phones in gas station, museums and hotel lobbies and hoping we had the correct change, the guide would now carry a cell phone to confirm appointments, get directions, find out hours of operation and ensure that those with food allergies would be properly accommodated at the next meal. And as most students have their own cell phones today, there would be no need to find the office in the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and beg then to page “Bill Smith” who seemed to have gone missing.
Today we would text Bill and find out where he was, so as not to keep a bus full of hungry students waiting for 25 minutes. And for those other questions (what time is it? What’s the weather in D.C.? where’s the washroom located?) There are apps galore that tour guides can access and seamlessly carry on with the tour. But you know, while technology would certainly have improved the actual operation of the tour to Washington, it would only have incrementally improved the quality of the tour itself. Instead of describing a museum or what we would do in Arlington Cemetery or what we would see at F.B.I. headquarters, we could have showed it on an iPad or even a video on the screens of the coach. Tour guide ‘savvy’ still rules the day on a student tour or a package tour or a fam trip. Good tour guides… Explain the expression “eyes that travel, see”. It is a translated Swahili expression that promotes travel and discovery and open mindedness, and imparts a feeling of importance to the traveller as being in an elite club of global knowledge and understanding. Explain that when you look out the coach window—or observe something on a walking tour—that you should look up to the roofs and down to the foundation and of course take in everything in between. In Quebec City we would chat about key questions:
Why are the roofs slanted?, Why are there windows jutting out from the roofs? Why are there rough‐cut stones covering the buildings ? What are those funny “S” shaped decorations on the upper floors of the building? etc. Being taught to observe, question and understand architectural features is part of appreciating the history of a destination. Explain that it’s OK to touch! When we took students to the Bytown Museum in Ottawa, the oldest structure in the city, we would have them touch the stone to appreciate the difference between field stones and modern bricks. Touching adds that important experiential aspect to any tour and literally establishes a relationship between the traveller and the structure or the city or the local animal (eg Yaks in Tibet, water buffalo in Vietnam, alpacas in Peru) .
It is no secret that a tour guide can make or break a holiday. We had a bad guide in one Central American country who tried to revise the itinerary every day so he could get home early (It didn’t work). There was the guide in Eastern Turkey who tried to convince the group that sunrise on Mt. Nemrud was dirty and dusty and a waste of time (It didn’t work).
There was the guide in Nueba who ‘forgot’ to warn the group that there were sea urchins in the water and one of the women stepped on one and was in pain for hours. There was the guide in Sulawesi who was obsessed at the thought of receiving a large tip at the end of the tour and uttered the fatuous statement, as we saw a sign for the airport on the last day “ I can see the airport and I miss you already” , and there was the guide in Morocco who was bored with the tour that he had already conducted once before, so he made up his own walk in the desert and 90 minutes later in 40 degree heat, we finally found our way back to town. At some times, you have to overlook the shortcomings of the guide and expand your own sense of exploration to appreciate the country-- and not come home with ‘the guide’ being the reason you would not return. And for me, a fairly well-travelled individual and former tour guide? I thank Madé in Bali and Nghia in Vietnam and Roberto in Salta, Argentina and Kevin in Cape Town and a dozen others for opening my eyes and leaving a profound impression of their country and culture imbedded in my mind.
CLOUD FORMATION TOURS OF THE WORLD!
To be a part of our team you'll need to: •Be responsible and professional at all times. •Have the ability to deal with all types of people ‐ our clients come from all around the globe; they speak many languages and have many different expectations. •Enjoy a challenge ‐ our training trip and the job itself will constantly present you with many different and difficult situations. •Be positive and have the ability to deal with all situations in a calm and mature manner. •Be a problem solver ‐ you will have to assist clients with lost passports, when they have injuries or need to visit a hospital, conflict of personalities etc. •Work well as part of a team ‐ when you are on tour you will be working with your Tour Driver, On Road Cook, On Site Team Members, local suppliers and guides ‐ you will be part of a very big picture. What are the requirements? You must be able to work in Europe. This means being the holder of one of the following: •European Passport •"Right of Abode" for the United Kingdom •"Residency" for the United Kingdom •Valid work visa for the UK. If you do not currently have any of the above but you are eligible, you may still apply for the position of Tour Manager. Please note we cannot sponsor people for this position. You must have a valid work visa before commencing training. Please check the UK Home Office website for details if you are unsure before applying. Applicants from USA please note that it can be very difficult for you to obtain a UK working visa and we cannot offer you a position on the training trip until after you have a visa.
SO WHERE ARE THE JOBS YOU ASK. WELL YOU CAN LOOK NO FURTHER THAN YOUR BROCHURE RACK. PERHAPS YOUR SUPPLIER BDMS CAN ALSO HELP YOU LINK UP TO THE RIGHT DEPARTMENT. LET’S START OFF HERE WITH CONTIKI. YOU CAN FIND THIS SAME INFORMATION HERE http://www.contiki.com/jobs
Tour Manager ‐ Europe, Italy or Greece 2013 The role of Tour Manager for Contiki is a demanding yet fulfilling one. Our Tour Managers are responsible for the day to day running of our European tours ‐ getting our clients from city to city, pointing out the best sights and sounds of Europe and making sure everyone has a great time along the way. We look for people with personality and passion, who are fun, friendly, and approachable and most of all who enjoy looking after other people. Why work for Contiki? Contiki is the world's leading tour operator for 18‐35's. When working for us you're undertaking not only a job but a lifestyle. A life that involves travelling to some of the most exotic destinations in the world with some of the most amazing people you'll ever meet. As a member of our road crew, you will be the face of Contiki ‐ dealing with our passengers each day and ensuring that they have the holiday of a lifetime! We have high expectations of our road crew ‐ only the best will do. We've been at the top of our game for the past 49 years and that's where we intend to stay! To be a part of our team you'll need to: •Be passionate about travel and Europe ‐ you must be willing to learn and have the desire to keep on learning. •Be enthusiastic and motivated ‐ we expect you to work hard for our company and for our clients. •Have great time management skills.
Although not required, the following will be of benefit to you in your application for this position: •Experience working with and leading groups. •Confidence when speaking in front of a group. •Previous travel in Europe. •Having previously travelled with Contiki or participated in a group tour of some description. How do I apply? Applications for the 2012 season have now closed. We will be opening applications in August 2012 for our 2013 season with a view to hold interviews in Australia in October/November 2012 and in London in November 2012‐January 2013. You may register your interest now and we will let you know when applications open. Still not sure? If you require further information email us: email@example.com
The role of a Contiki Representative To provide customer service to all Contiki clients, meet and greet them prior to departure and at the end of their tours. To sell and suggest sightseeing and accommodation and to ensure their stay in London before and after their tour meets their expectations. What are the requirements? Possess an EC/UK passport or a youth mobility visa with a validity of at least 12 months. Must be proficient in computer applications (Ms Office Suite). Have excellent people skills with previous experience in a customer service role. Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to use initiative and self motive. Ability to handle multiple tasks in a pressurized environment. Ability to interact on professional and social levels with our clients. Ability to deal with and work under pressure. Be highly organized and have problem solving skills. Able to adapt to long working hours (split shifts). Must be team orientated and a strong relationship builder. Be adaptable and flexible. Be enthusiastic and have loads of energy.
THIS IS JUST A SAMPLING OF THE KIND OF TOUR GUIDING, TOUR DIRECTING AND ONSITE REP JOBS THAT ARE ‘OUT THERE’ AND FOUND WITHIN YOUR CURRENT LIST OF PREFERRED SUPPLIERS. Pay attention to the rules. In most cases you must get yourself to the interview point. That means you are financing your travel to and from and if you do not make it to the top of the list and get the job, you are on your own.
ARE YOU FEELING THE EXCITEMENT? I KNOW I AM! THIS IS GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD EVERY DAY AS PEOPLE LIKE YOU OPT FOR A NEW ROLE IN THEIR TRAVEL CAREER. WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN COMBINING YOUR TA EXPERIENCE & PERSONALITY WITH GUIDING?
You can click here: http://twitter.com/#!/GAdvTalent and check for jobs with GAP too.
Mayday Mayday… Travel agents… I repeat… Travel agents…” You need a change in direction sooner than later!” I say this with all due respect but, really, it’s time to do things differently than you have in the past! Einstein said it best, with his definition of insanity… “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.”
If your still cold calling, door knocking, sending flyers/ praying and spraying, and generally not looking ONLINE for new business, yet expecting to GROW your business, it’s time to stop and smell the internet! Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in newspaper advertising, local magazines, radio, and direct mail, as long as it also mentions and includes your online business social media marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter, and your new You Tube channel.
WHY should you be prospecting online: 850,000,000+ M. active users on Facebook, 150,000,000 M. active users on Twitter, and 3+BILLION videos are watched on You Tube a day…. Hello… wake‐up and smell the opportunity! Don’t forget… Your customers are using these social tools… Your customers enjoy using these tools… Your customers expect you to also be here and offer these tools in your business… Your competition is already doing it, and you are once again playing catch‐up… Ouch! A mindset shift is required though… STOP telling and selling and START becoming relevant again, be valuable, and be useful! Every day millions of people and businesses use Linked In to create, discover and share ideas with each other. Linked In helps businesses by… 1. Connecting you with ALL the professionals you know, 2. Inviting them to your profile, 3. They can also find you, GUEST ARTICLE BY CORY ANDRICHUK 4. They can write recommendations , www.brandUcoaching.com 5. ADD a company, 6. Go public with a global presence,
Once your profile is complete, company set‐up, connections invited, it’s time to get the word out and build lasting relationships! Linked In helps you… 1. Stay in touch with past, current, and future customers 2. Add your Linked In profile username to your email signature http://www.linkedin.com/company/branducoaching‐inc‐ http://www.linkedin.com/in/coryandrichuk 3. Urge people to follow you from Twitter as well to post updates 4. UPDATE your status often with details about your business Here are 8 ways to proactively use Linked In Status Updates in your posts: 1. POST Luxury hotel upgrades… 2. POST Cruise industry stats… 3. Discuss HOW TO pack for business‐vacation trips… 4. Include articles on your niche found from leading travel sites like Frommers, MSN, CLIA, Travel Research Online, The Travel Institute, facebook.com/ brandUcoaching… 5. Discuss LOCAL… Security changes to airports… 6. POST insurance claims gone bad… 7. POST facts about destinations… 8. POST videos to exotic beaches around the world…
LEAD GENERATION is all about BEING HELPFUL PROACTIVELY! So… 1. Offer advice, 2. Industry insight, 3. General group, travel, market segment, destination, security, safety, insurance content. GENERATE GROUP leads by creating a company page for your agency and getting creative to answer questions about your niche, travel in general, solutions to other traveler’s challenges… Become the Travel Authority in your circle, online and off! Follow my lead… I have attached a great new 2012 Social Media & Mobile Marketing Travel video here to watch and learn how travel brands surveyed have had a positive impact in their ROI… Your comments are appreciated here at facebook.com/brandUcoaching. brandUcoaching Inc. is a highly‐specialized travel business coaching practice that inspires and motivates home‐based entrepreneurs HOW to both start and grow their business. Call me #1855 BUY CORY (289 2679)
On this page we enhance the sales relationship between supplier BDMs and the travel agent. Outcome: faster, quicker, larger, higher revenue sales!
What do you know about the people who lead your tours around the world or escort locally as step‐on‐guides? Could you tell and sell your agency accounts on the background and profiles of your frontline tour guide team? If it’s possible, you would do well to get to know your tour guides, leaders, directors and learn enough about them to pitch them to your agency accounts. As you well know, if that tour guide is 86 and nodding off, that client is not going to have a very enjoyable tour. If that same 86 youngyear old is full of wheaties and bouncing off the inner walls of the coach then everyone onboard should be getting their monies worth. Same thing no matter who is up front with the flag. Many suppliers, and you may be one, have profiles and head shots of their touring staff in the brochure/s and or on your website. In either case, you should mention this to your travel agent supporters and encourage them to also get to know who will be leading their client’s tour. You should also mention the fact that in some cases the client will be guided around by a headset! This is okay but not for 21 days straight! Make sure your agency accounts know the facts so they can relay them to their clients. Here are 17 key points to tell your agency accounts about when you are promoting your tour guides, travel directors, chief experience officers, fun managers and leaders of the pack. If you can travel with a top tour guide, have them speak at a trade show or deliver a webinar… you’d be in the driver’s seat! BDM Font: Baily
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
17 THINGS TO ADVISE YOUR AGENCY ACCOUNTS ABOUT YOUR TOUR GUIDES / TRAVEL DIRECTORS They can relay what cannot be found online or in guidebooks. They give your clients a local insider's perspective. They tell colourful stories about each historic landmark. They show your clients their special places. They help bring your client’s journey to life. They offer a more powerful, memorable, and enriching trip. They help create a vacation experience your clients could not do on their own. They offer special recommendations. They act as your personal concierge. They help interpret local culture. They ensure your client’s vacation is seamless and hassle‐free. They show your shopaholic clients how to get great value. They make all things run smoother. They keep it interesting and ultimately more enjoyable. They can spot a fake from the real deal. They share their vast knowledge. They are your client’s friend in unfamiliar places.
You only buy the hammer to drive the nail home! What will you use to drive sales home?
Remember the BDM Mantra: “If I can’t sell it to them… they won’t sell it for me!”
412 PAGES 273 IDEAS 100s of VARIATIONS 700 LINKS TO MORE RESOURCES When you need a source of ideas to either implement as is, or to help jog your own creative juices, this is the book to buy. It took me over 25 years to get it ‘here’ and that story is on page 5. It was some journey. When I started writing it, the IBM Selectric was the word processor of choice! What a laugh. Some suppliers have purchased a copy for each of their Business Development Managers, host agencies have made bulk purchases for their members and individual agents have written in to say this book is their idea bible.
WHEN YOU BUY THIS BOOK YOU WILL RECEIVE 2 HOURS OF IDEA TIME WITH THE AUTHOR AND 10% OFF YOUR FIRST STATIONERY ORDER WHEN PURCHASED THROUGH BIG BARK GRAPHICS EASY TO USE E-STORE!
It also, as you can see, comes in pill form, a cure for the common creative block! Okay, just kidding, but it is available in E‐BOOK format if you prefer to read it on screen! For e‐Books: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO OTHER BOOK LIKE THIS ONE – AND IT’S CURRENT!
PURCHASE THE SOFT COVER FROM
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The report just in. There are some travel agents not yet confident in their social networking and social marketing skills and all the information coming at them from the trade is something similar to gobbledygook. Too much IT not enough about ME! So, here’s a webinar that is for the older generation of travel agents, the baby boomers who need more time, the novice who is ready to go social and anyone else that requires a step by step approach. This webinar is only focusing on Facebook and it’s only taking you so far – but enough to start your business page, add a cover image, post things of interest and stay connected to your clients. The other element of Simply Social is that we remove the BS! Too much out there about joining the conversation, building relationships etc. That’s all relevant until you add the word marketing to social. Social Media Marketing is pure business. It’s what your suppliers are doing and beating you to the conversion punch. Check here for when this webinar will be delivered. www.sellingtravel.net/webinars.html
INTERNATIONAL GUIDE ACADEMY One of the most renowned tour guide training institutions, offering courses in America, Mexico, Canada, and China, as well as on board cruise ships since 1973. Tel: (303) 780‐0131 Website: www.igaonline.com PROFESSIONAL TOUR MANAGEMENT TRAINING This online course offered by Cherie Anderson, provides prospective tour managers with in depth information taken from her years of being a tour guide and tour director. Tel: (949) 830‐8603 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tourtraining.com INTERNATIONAL TOUR MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE (ITMI) ITMI has been operating for over 30 years offering 2 week travel courses with lifetime job placement assistance, and over 600 tour operator contacts. Tel: (800) 442‐4864 or (415) 957‐9489 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.itmitourtraining.com TRAVEL CAMPUS Travel Campus offers an online tour guide course, as well as pre‐requisite courses, IATA courses, and ASTA courses in all travel, tourism, and hospitality related careers. Education Systems LLC 11038 Longdale Circle Sandy, UT 84092 Tel: (800) 288‐3987 Website: www.travelcampus.com TOUR TRAINING Experience the world and get paid. http://www.tourtraining.com/ NATIONAL FEDERATION OF TOURIST GUIDE ASSOC’S http://www.nftga.com/members.html
THE TOUR GUIDE TRAINING CORPORATION OF CANADA The leader in Canadian travel training for both local and international tour guides. Classes range from those wanted to start a career as a tour guide and for businesses who wish to train front line staff. Contact Details: 1 Cecil Found Crescent Courtice, Ontario, Canada L1E 2V9 Tel: (416) 737‐0616 Email: email@example.com Website: www.traintheguides.com/ THE GUILD OF REGISTERED TOURIST GUIDES The Blue Badge Tour Guide Training is offered throughout England and Scotland, to provide tour guides with a Blue Badge, the most recognized tour guide license in the country. Contact Details: The Guild House, 52d Borough High Street, London, SE1 1XN Tel: (020) 7403 1115 Fax: (020) 7378 1705 Email: guild@blue‐badge.org.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.blue‐badge‐guides.com or http://www.itg.org.uk/ TOURISM TRAINING AUSTRALIA A network of training authorities in Australia are listed on this site and it also gives you plenty of resources for furthering your education to be a tour guide in Australia and surrounds. Contact Details: GPO Box 2493, Sydney, NSW 2001 Level 5, 49 Market St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Tel: (02) 9286 3944 Fax: (02) 9290 1001 Email: email@example.com
WORLD FEDERATION OF TOURIST GUIDE ASSOCIATIONS http://wftga.org/ VIATOR http://tourguides.viator.com/
Every country has it’s own tour guiding association – so wherever you reside, check locally and see what other resources are available to you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. The Post Concordia World 2. Creating Your Travel Safe Program 3. How Accidents Happen 4. Niche Market Accidents 5. Commercial Mass Surveillance 6. Whose Job Is It? 7. The “It Will Never Happen to Me!” Myth 8. World Awareness 9. Take The Quiz 10. Smart Traveller Program ‐ Canada 11. Smart Traveller Program USA 12. Your Legal Implications & Obligations 13. Word Traps 14. Limitations of Liability 15. Cruise Ship Safety – The Concordia Effect 16. Which Cabin? 17. In Case of an Emergency 18. Has Anyone Experienced This Before? 19. Why They Must Muster 20. Emergency Information Onboard 21. Inflatable Rafts 22. Deck Plans – A Key to Survival 23. The General Emergency Signal 24. Distress Signals 25. Morse Code Apps 26. Air Travel Safety 27. Types of Forced Landings 28. Aircraft Evacuation 29. Air Crash Survival Tips 30. Hotel Safety 31. Hotel Safety Survival Devices 32. Train Travel Safety 33. Car Travel Safety 34. Bus/Coach Safety 35. Travel Insurance & Safety – Your New Niche Specialist Service 36. Insurance and Assistance 37. Canada and USA Insurance Associations 38. Travel Insurance Questions 39. Safety & Survival Devices 40. Safety Instructions, Books and More 41. Creating Your Safe Travel Guide 42. Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad
Become a Travel Insurance & Travel Safety Specialist This self study manual will help you better understand the travel safety issues you must cover with your clients before they leave on their vacation. After reading this workbook you will be able to put together your own Safe Travel Guide that will not only show you care about your clients safety but it will also help you sell more travel insurance coverage, protecting yourself and your agency in the process.
This new publication will be available from www.citc.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org in both hardcopy and e‐book format packaged with the recording of the Travel Safety webinar. Also check with www.thetravelinstitute.com for the e‐book version and the Selling Travel store www.sellingtravel.net/store.html for both e‐book and hardcopy.
YES! IT’S UP AND RUNNING AND ACCESSIBLE RIGHT NOW. SO CLICK THERE WHEN YOU CAN AND USE WHATEVER YOU CAN FIND. SHARE IT WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES AND SEND IN ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT SELLING TRAVEL. YOU’LL FIND SOME OLD FAVOURITES AND A FEW NEW PAGES TOO. ENJOY!
www.sellingtravel.net The SELLING TRAVEL webpage will eventually take over from the SMP TRAINING Co. website which will operate but become more focused on developing training modules, presentations and keynote speeches. The SELLING TRAVEL website and SELLING TRAVEL eMagazine will compliment each other and offer travel agency managers and staff a continuous flow of no fluff, street savvy sales and marketing “how‐to”. If you can help build the selling travel community it would be greatly appreciated by letting your agency colleagues and head office management team know about it.
CLICK FOR: q q q q q q q q q q q
How To Sell Tips, Tools and Techniques Social Media Info and How‐To Niche and Specialty Travel Marketing Videos and Surveys Free PowerPoint Training Links Webinars E‐Books and Handouts Downloads Articles On Selling Travel Find Your Favourites: The Edge, The O&M, The Frontline and The BDM all here in the Selling Travel E‐Magazine
A division of SMP Training Co.
www.sellingtravel.net T: 250-752-0106 email@example.com
The Tour Guide Group Sales Boosting Issue