As a tour operator, you’ll have numerous pressures to deal with each day. Not only do you need to inspire your customers with fantastic marketing strategies that help them to envision their time on your tour, but you also have to give them memorable experiences too.
Whether you’re running a guided tour around some of the most historical sites in your city, or you’re giving an introductory lesson on wine tasting, it’s important to make sure that you have the right personality for the job. The following characteristics are crucial to any tour operator. If you notice an area where you’re lacking, it might be time to start brushing up on a few of your soft skills.
1. A Good Tour Operator is Resourceful
Though you can plan your tour experience down to the finest detail, there’s always a chance that things won’t go the way you expected. Tour operators work constantly with other people, and we all know how unpredictable people can be. With that in mind, it’s important that you’re resourceful enough to deal with any eventuality – whether it’s a first-aid emergency, or a sudden downpour.
Apps that give you an insight into the weather before you set out for the day can help you to plan your schedule around the elements, while a first-aid kit should be a standard part of any tour pack.
2. Tour Operators Must Multi-Task
Often, being a tour operator can feel a lot like overseeing a juggling act. As the leader of the day’s activity, it’s important that you know how to handle a dozen things at once, from questions launched by your visitors, to the resources you’re using to share information. Make sure that you’re fully organised before you head out for the day and invest in any tools or technology that might make your life easier. For instance, an app your tourists can download and use as they follow you on your tour can provide them with useful information and answers to frequently asked questions, so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
3. Passion and Enthusiasm Are a Must
If you’re not excited about your tour, then there’s a good chance your travellers won’t be either. Unfortunately, when you take on a job as a tour operator, you aren’t allowed to have an off day. You’re responsible for helping your customers to make fun and carefree memories with their loved ones. That means that a sour expression and a bad attitude won’t get you anywhere. Make sure that you’re:
- Friendly and approachable (always be ready to answer questions)
- Supportive and patient (some travellers will be slower than others)
- Always ready with a smile (A great attitude goes a long way)
4. Great Tour Operators are Culturally Aware
Last, but not least, as a tour operator, you’ll be working with people from various walks of life. When you’re connecting with customers from all the far reaches of the globe, it’s important to make sure that you don’t do or say anything that might be inappropriate in the eyes of a particular culture. Do your research and make sure that you’re aware of the cultural norms of your target market.
Keeping an open mind when it comes to handling people from different backgrounds is a crucial part of giving your customers a good experience. It can also be helpful for tour operators to be fluent in multiple languages, as this helps to improve the overall guest experience.