When offering multi-day tours, there’s a lot to consider. It can take months of planning to create the perfect experience. You’ve got to craft a day-by-day itinerary, organise accommodation for large groups, and find quality restaurants to suit the dietary requirements of all your guests, and that’s just scraping the surface. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Tourism Tiger have compiled a list of handy resources to help you create unique travel itineraries.
Once you’ve got all the planning out of the way, you may think that you’re ready to start touring. Not quite. There is one essential factor many tour operators forget in the process: keeping guests entertained once your activity finishes. If a tour wraps up at 6pm, what will your guests do then? Are they expected to sit around in their rooms, or have you prepared for this situation? The difference between a good multi-day tour operator and a great one is the thought you put into your ‘down time’ activities. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but the following simple tricks can help build trust between you and your client (and get you some rave reviews too!).
The simplest and most common tactic most tour business owners use is to recommended activities and locations in the area. Having a board in a common room with restaurant flyers, museum opening hours, hiking trails, or information about nearby towns and cities within driving distance can help occupy your guests and requires hardly any effort. Also, make a point of checking in with your guests when they first arrive and inquiring about their plans or additional things they are interested in doing or seeing. Most visitors have an idea of the area, but who better to offer tips and insider knowledge than a true local?
Create an Inviting Space:
If you’re hosting guests on your own premises or in a location you’re familiar with, you’ll need to provide a space where they can relax and mingle. Buy some tables and chairs for your outdoor space so guests can watch the sunset or have a glass of wine on the porch. For the winter months, or for tour businesses in colder climates, have a cosy indoor area and fill it with books, magazines, and board games ( perhaps even a guitar). Depending on your budget, you could have tea and coffee making facilities for the ideal space to unwind after a long day.
Get Out With Your Guests:
If you’re in a remote area, why not take your guests for a country walk one evening of their stay? Show them your favourite walking trail, the flora of the region, the local wildlife, etc. If you’re near a small town or village, offer a ride so that your guests can explore, buy some souvenirs, or try the regional produce. There are countless opportunities for tour operators to get to know their guests and demonstrate their knowledge of, and love for, their region.
Host Small Events:
Another geniously simple option is to host small evening events such as BBQ night, karaoke night, or a quiz (trivia for our American friends) — it all depends on the type of experience you are offering and your clientele. Even something as simple as inviting your visitors to the common area for a free glass of wine can go a long way. Your group will be together for a few days, and the best way to keep them entertained is to help them get to know each other, and you, of course!
Have Child-Friendly Options:
Drinking wine beside the fire sounds like bliss for most of us adults, but what about for children? Think of fun ways to adapt adult activities for a younger crowd. Are you camping? Get them to make s’mores. Going for a walk in the countryside? Provide printouts or colouring sheets to help them identify local flowers or landmarks. Having card and board games on hand for emergencies is also never a bad idea. Small adaptations to planned activities can help keep children entertained and allow their parents a few minutes of peace!
Listen to the mood of your group. No two groups are the same, and while one might love the idea of a get-together, another might prefer to explore on their own. Your introduction chat with your guests should give you a good idea of what they expect from their trip. Either way, having activities planned and some entertaining material available demonstrates your thoughtfulness and can help win you extra marks.
Have you ever tried any of the above? Let us know how you got on!
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