As a traveller, what do you think makes an ordinary group tour more interesting? Is it the number of destinations and activities in the itinerary or the energy of the people you’re travelling with?
What makes you look forward to another day of touring? Some would say that the more destinations and activities the better, but I believe that it comes down to the tour guide at the end of the day!
How a tour guide handles a group of tourists, interacts with them, and tells stories can make or break a group tour. Without them, any group tour will fall flat and end up dull.
An exceptional tour guide is capable of elevating the tour experience regardless of the destination. With the perfect tour guide, even short breaks can be amusing and engaging!
So in today’s article, I’m going to share the qualities that make a great tour guide (which leads to a more extraordinary tour experience!)
(You’ll like this article if you’re a tour manager looking for ways to enhance the customer experience!)
If you’ve been on any form of a tour before, you’d know that tour guides answer hundreds of questions from tourists every day.
The range of these questions is no joke! You’ll often hear them answering queries about foreign exchange rates, the location of the nearest bathroom, and even the time for lunch break.
A great tour guide is always willing to entertain all questions, even if they’ve been answered already. So, having great patience is a must for them!
It’s not a walk in the park to respond enthusiastically to questions you’ve answered multiple times, which is why I think tour guides are the heart of local tourism!
If the tour guide is patient and graceful in answering questions, tourists will have a deeper appreciation of the whole experience as someone was always willing to talk to them.
Besides being entertaining, tour guides should possess natural charisma and be able to interact with all types of tourists, including uncooperative ones.
No tourist would want to be led by a snobbish and unfriendly guide! I haven’t encountered a guide like this, though, which proves how committed they are to their jobs!
Every tour is different and filled with new challenges, so tour guides should be able to adapt and find opportunities to be funny, endearing, and friendly at all times, even if under pressure.
When the tour guide gets along with everyone (and can make everyone get along), the entire tour will leave a positive memory on each tourist.
A great sense of humour
Who wants to sit through a dry, long, and boring history lesson? You’re on tour to discover new places, not hear the same story you’ve heard from your history teacher!
The foolproof way tour guides can catch the attention of tourists? Cracking jokes and telling funny anecdotes about the tour!
In every tour, there will be unexpected situations beyond a tour guide’s control, so knowing which jokes and stories to tell can help make light of the situation.
A great sense of humour helps when the tour bus is stuck in heavy traffic too!
An effective storyteller
While it’s a tour guide’s job to narrate stories about tourist spots and historical landmarks, it’s not enough to simply narrate it.
Tour guides don’t need to know every detail about a certain location, but they’re expected to tell the story and explain what they know with enthusiasm to engage with every tourist.
Otherwise, everything that comes out of the tour guide’s mouth will just go over the tourists’ heads.
Tourists are generally open to learning more about the history of the country, but they won’t be encouraged to listen if the tour guide is just reading what’s written on paper.
Strong empathy and sensitivity
Tourists come from various walks of life, economic backgrounds, and may even speak different languages, so tour guides are expected to find a way to handle these differences for everyone to have a pleasant tour experience.
The ability to communicate effectively with every tourist is probably the hardest task of a tour guide (and is also the mark of an amazing tour guide).
Tour guides should always be emphatic and understanding of the situation of each tour member.
For example, families may need an extra eye to look after their children while elderly tourists may ask for more idle time to rest.
If there’s a tourist with special needs, the tour guide should be mindful of their condition throughout the entire tour while making sure they don’t feel left out.
It can be overwhelming to consider all these while you’re on the road with a group of tourists, but that’s exactly what makes tour guides amazing!
There may be no better way to make group tours exciting for people of all ages than by throwing them in the company of a high-spirited tour guide.
Group tours may require hours of walking and waiting, so it’s understandable if tourists want to be around someone who can cheer them up and keep the energy alive!
Everyone is going to be exhausted after a long day of touring, but knowing that there’s an enthusiastic tour guide who leads them will make tourists look forward to the next day of touring!
Engaging tours for everyone
Adding more activities and sights definitely makes group tours more interesting to tourists of all ages, but sometimes finding the right tour guide makes the tour extra special!
By the way, if you want to explore other parts of the island to help Singapore’s tourism industry bounce back, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
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