- Difference in Roles
For a Tourist to better understand the complexities of the notion of Tour Guiding, some basic distinctions in the roles of the operators have to be analysed.
- A Tour-Escort: He goes on tour as a representative of a tour company to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
- A Tour Guide: He narrates the tours and sometimes drives the vehicle on behalf of the tour group if there is no driver.
- A Tour Manager: He plays the role of the boss of the two.
His presence is there for general support and supervision. He is not bound to be present at all times, though in some companies he may accompany the tour group
- Who then is a Tour Manager?
In some companies, the duties of the Tour Manager are mixed with those of the Tour Guide. The Tour Manager sets out and defines the activities of the Tour, which have to be implemented by the tour guide. He is there for customer-relation.
- Job responsibilities
- The Tour Manager is in charge of the planning of the entire tour from start to finish.
- He sets the dates and draws the programme of activities.
- He plans connecting flights.
- He arranges for accommodation.
- He confirms the various sights to be visited on the tour and prepares brochures for travel agents
NB (In summary, he is in charge of the whole Tour, making sure that it runs as smoothly as possible even if he or she is not on the tour itself).
- Requirements for effective Tour Management
. The Manager needs to be comfortable with Travel; while he spends a lot of time in the office, he should be able to move out to find the best destinations and sights to include in his packages.
- For good coordination, he needs to plan the destination and the schedule; (departing and arriving flights, bus schedules, boat departure times etc. etc. to meet up with the suppliers on the tour)
- Training or degrees
To lend credibility to the job and arouse the Tourist’s interest in the whole activity, the Tour Manager should be able to possess the following traits:
He must have a background in Tour Guiding.
- He should attend a tourism school with recommended additional certificates in Social Science, Earth science, Human Resources, Hospitality, Geography, and Geology
- He should be good with computer programmes like Microsoft office, Publisher etc., in order to organise his schedule and plan his tour effectively.
What are the different Target groups to lead?
Guiding tourists requires a wide range of background knowledge on who to lead and who is being led. This is because different groups of persons visit Tourist Destinations for different reasons e.g.
- Maybe Americans (who are interested in tracing their routes to the slave trade village.
- Or generally, just tourists as a whole who want to discover new sites
Whatever the case, the Tour Operator must be able to understand the different peak seasons of different nationalities to visit a particular area for the visit to move on successfully.