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Lecturette on Tour Guiding

TOUR GUIDE – a frontline personnel who is in charge of implementing the package chosen by the visitors/guest with the end in view of satisfying the needs of the client beyond their expectations.

It is also his/her duty to ensure the safety and comfort of the client.

CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT TOUR GUIDE

A. TRUSTWORTHINESS:

1. A tour guide must be at all times physically pleasant on the manner of his dressing, personal hygiene, social manners.

2. He/She must at all times be cordial and courteous.

3. A guide must be knowledgeable of the things that a guest would ask.(Where is the nearest comfort rooms, best manicure, they can buy batteries for their camera, the best massage, buy cigarettes)

4. A guide must be honest. He or she should at all times protect the welfare of the guest without sacrificing the welfare of his contacts.

B. EFFECTIVENESS:

1. A guide must have a good command of the language. Knowledge of the guest's language is also appreciated.

2. A guide must command respect from the guest. Acts of courtesy and kindness should go beyond the time that the guest has left the place. This acts should be part of the good memory that a guest will bring home.

3. He/She must be self-assured.

4. A guide must be well-informed of the customs, traditions and practices of her place and even areas outside or nearer his/her area of concern. He should be knowledgeable to explain to the guest why a thing is so and so.

C. EFFICIENCY:

1. Other than the itinerary of travel, a guide must be well-versed of things around them.

2. A guide must stick to the itinerary as much as possible. He or she must politely inform the guest why the need to stick to it. However, she should also be open to small adjustments.

3. Must always extend extra service to the guests. (Warning them of anything that might harm them, assisting them while riding or alighting from vehicles, protecting them from rain or hot sun, giving them warm blankets or travel pillows, etc.)

4. A guide must at all times be courteous and kind that these should go beyond the time that the guest has left the place. Acts of courtesy and kindness should be part of the good memory that the guest will bring back home.

5. On special cases, the guide should also serve as a personal assistant, appointment secretary, travel buddy,etc.

OTHER FUNCTION OF A TOUR GUIDE:

1. A guide has to make sure that their vehicle is clean at all times.

2. A guide must maintain good working relationship with his/her driver.

3. A guide at times eat with the guest, hence, explaination about the menu that a guest will have to take for lunch or dinner is needed particularly if serving local foods.

4. A guide should be the first one to taste the food before the presence of guests.

5. In requesting discounts, the guide should help his/her guest ask it from the sellers to ensure that the tourist is not being robbed of his money.

6. A guide should also be able to know basic survival techniques and first aid, particularly in cases of emergency.

7. Before guests arrive, it is also the duty of a guide to make sure accommodations are confirmed and best if rooms are inspected so that needed adjustments can be make (if there is a need to change rooms)

8. Check also welcome drinks, fruits, cards and other concerns (even air fresheners and plumbings)

9. When conducting group tours for different tourist booked in different hotels, the guide must initiate that the group should at least know one another. Starting with himself or herself, the driver and the visitor close to her/him. This is to assure everyone that there are no stranger among the group.

10. Before leaving a visited area, the guide must make a mental count of the guest, lest someone be left behind.

11. After the tour, the guide must be the first one outside of the vehicle to thank his/her guest.

12. Before leaving the premises, check your vehicle of things that the guest might have left behind and make sure it is returned to the rightful owner.

13. If you are given a tip, make sure that the driver also gets something.

CONDUCTING TRANSFERS:(high risk areas)

1. When passing through particularly risky areas, the guide should be in constant contact with his/her base area to ensure that immediate action can be taken in cases of emergency.

2. A guide should never reveal to anyone the identity of his or her guest and their itinerary.

3. A guide should know how to practice caution when conducting transfers. (change of route and time of departure and arrival)

In conclusion, we can therefore say that the tour guide is one personnel who spends more time with the guest/tourist compared to other front line personnel. Hence, the importance of this service is considered to be one of the pillars of tourism. The return of any visitor to the place lies mainly on the work of the tour guide.

LECTURETTE ON TOUR GUIDING

By:
Benjie Nagata Abarca
Supervising Tourism Operations Officer
Cotabato City


 

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