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5 Tour Guide Training Hacks You Need to Know Now

In the business of giving tours, we all know it's important to ensure your tour guides are well-trained and up to the task. After all, the quality of your tour depends on them!

TicketingHub has been in the attraction and event industry for seven years now. We have been closely working with over 200 tour operators in different walks of the tourism industry, and all we can say is: that your tour guide makes the difference on every tour.

So how can you effectively train them from day 1? What are the qualifications, values, and skills that tour guides must keep on working?

Here are five essentials that every great tour guide training program should include.

What are the ins and outs of tour guide management? Here are 4 ways: How to Manage Your Tour Guides Effectively

Impress on your Company Values

Tour guides represent your tour company. And that includes your company values. How they deliver the tours, communicate with the guests, and make each tour memorable- it's all but a reflection of you. It either keeps or breaks a customer's trust & loyalty.

Use manuals or booklets with your company values.
Use manuals or booklets with your company values.

How?

Different training materials or manuals can help. Perhaps a video of what your company is about or a booklet manual featuring your values as a tour operator will do. Or even a talk with them during onboarding and training about the best practices of giving tours can help.

Why is it important?

Tourist guides perform at their best when they know what they should offer. The better you impress them with the service your company strives to offer, the better they will deliver tours.

First-Hand Learning with the Experts of Tour Guiding

There's no better way of learning tour guiding than seeing it yourself.

tour guiding
Let your tour guide become a tourist of your tours.

How?

Let your rookie guides jump in and experience your tours first-hand. But of course, with your expert guide on board. Take them on your trips and be one of the guests. This way, they can put themselves in a tourist's shoes, and see ways to make a trip more exciting and memorable.

After the tour, ask them:

  • How's the experience?
  • What skills and values of the company did you learn?
  • How can you apply these lessons?
  • From a tourist's point of view, how can we make this tour better?

Be reasonable, though. You cannot expect your new hire to master your tours in only a few days or weeks. In most cases, it takes many tour operators a month for a new hire to gain experience and master their tours.

Why is it important?

Professionals do more than just read and attend seminars. In addition, they spend most of their working hours in action. Further, training through videos, booklets, and seminars may be beneficial, but it is the first-hand experience that develops expertise and skills.

Encourage Continuous Learning with Self Evaluation

Success always comes with continuous learning. The same proves true in being a great tour guide.

How?

Provide your team with helpful resources, but they should keep learning too. So encourage them to take tour guide training courses or maybe you can freely enroll them in a tour guide course. This can help them be familiar with the travel industry terminology. Not to mention, some of these programs offer lifetime job placement assistance for their graduates.

Look for credible tour guide training courses online.
Tour guide training courses for free
Tour guide training courses for free with the ITMI- tour director and tour guide certification.

The International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) offers certification programs for both tourist guides and tour directors through online courses, as follows:

In addition to these certification programs, the International Tour Management Institute has a blog where tour guides can continuously learn the fundamentals, trends, and best practices of tour guiding. (Check their blog here.)

Be a Better Guide
Relevant tour guiding tips and best practices through online courses with Be a Better Guide.

Be a Better Guide is also a platform that provides holistic training and development for tour companies and their tour guides.

On their website, you can enroll in their Online Tourism Academy. It is a self-paced, video-based, mobile-responsive training program for guides. Besides, they also offer free video training materials and video case studies which tour guides and operators can both glean insights from.

Why is it important?

A masterpiece is a work in progress. The best tour guide learns from only the best in the industry. Well, of course, your guides should lead tours in their own style; but keeping up with the trends, learning from the experts, and knowing the science behind a great experience is not merely talent- it's skillful learning.

Foster Collaborative Learning & Teamwork

Employees progress when they feel they're part of the process.

Discuss matters regularly and create solutions together.
Discuss matters regularly and create solutions together.

How?

Set a day each week to discuss matters for improvement with your team. Sit down, listen to your team, ask for their feedback, validate their concerns, and create solutions together. Also, value what the new members have to say, they can provide you with a fresh perspective.

Have open communication with each of your tour guides.
Have open communication with each of your tour guides.

Why is it important?

Good communication is the lifeblood of every growing company, the same with tour operations. This way, you develop a collaborative environment where everyone is connected. When the team is happy, the customers too are happy.

Walk Through Your Online Booking System

An online booking system is a technology where and how your tours deliver customer service before and after tours.

Train them on how to navigate and operate tours with your online booking system
Train them on how to navigate and operate tours with your online booking system.

How?

Train your tour guides on how to use your online booking software. Teach them where to track the guests of an upcoming tour, the classification of guests, upselling opportunities, keeping sales inventory, and how to issue tickets on-site, and print receipts, if need be.

There's a lot you can do with a booking and ticketing system. So make sure to choose a software solution with an easy user interface that comes with video training resources and stellar customer support.

Did you know that since 2017, TicketingHub only has an all-5-star customer Capterra review? Check our blog: How Did I Manage to Get All 5-star Capterra Reviews?

Why is it important?

Customer service, task assignment, and tour operations heavily rely on your online software solutions. Without good navigation of it, your tour guides cannot handle customer queries, deliver basic tour operations, and manage tour schedules effectively.

Choose an easy-to-use, centralized, and streamlined booking platform
Choose an easy-to-use, centralized, and streamlined booking platform

How to choose a tour booking system for your tours?

  • How to Find the Best Online Booking System for Tours and Activities
  • Top 10 Key Functionalities: Tour Booking Software

Top Booking Software Solutions:

  • FareHarbor
  • Checkfront
  • TicketingHub
  • Peek

Keep them Happy & Satisfied

Above all, keep your tour guides happy and satisfied working with your tour company.

Create a happy work environment for everyone.
Create a happy work environment for everyone.
A study states: "79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving". -Performance-Accelerated, White Paper, by O.C. Tanner Learning Group

Give a tour guide countless reasons to grow. Provide plenty of provisions to stay.

How?

  • Recognize and reward hard work.
  • Listen and validate concerns.
  • Give them breaks.
  • Offer promotions and salary increases, if need be.
  • Befriend them.

Tour guides are the face of your tour company. Thus, investing in them is as much as investing in growth. Keep their interest high, make them love their job, and provide them with the best knowledge in the tourism industry.

How about you, how do you manage to train your tour guides? Let us know in the comments below. Happy tours!

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