As you finish college and embark on your career journey in travel and tourism, one of the most engaging, challenging, and fun aspects of your job may be running group tours. Group tours are a great way for organizations to build community, for strangers to meet each other and explore new places, and – most importantly – for tour destinations and tourism professionals to serve a large number of people at once.
Organizing a group tour can be challenging, but with the right approach, you will be sure to conduct exciting tours for satisfied clients, wherever their destination. Keep reading for a few tips on organizing unforgettable group tours after you graduate.
Identify the Target Audience for Your Group Tours
When you are organizing a group tour, the best way to ensure that the tour meets the needs and expectations of its participants is to tailor it to a specific client base. There are two important steps in this process. First, you must identify your target audience. For example, you may want to run a tour for families with children, for seniors, or for adventurous young adults. Knowing who you will be serving with your tour will help you plan a more satisfying experience, and allow you to promote and advertise it more effectively.
The second step is to select activities that align closely with the interests and needs of your target demographic. If, for instance, you wanted to run a tour for young adults in the Rocky Mountains, you might include a mix of daytime backpacking excursions with in-town social events, like beer tasting.
Consider Developing Package Tours During Your Career in Travel & Tourism
To go a step beyond a simple group tour and maximize the benefits of the trip for both your clients and the businesses and services around your destination, consider compiling package tours. While these experiences require more detailed planning and foresight on your part, they are also incredibly convenient for the clients you will serve throughout your career in travel & tourism.
Package tours generally include the following:
- Transfers between airports and hotels/accommodations
- Rental cars, if needed
- Event tickets
Depending on your audience and destination, you may also want to include some other extras as part of the package, such as prepaid meals or equipment rental. By organizing your tour as a package, you have more control over your clients’ overall experience, giving your more opportunities to help them discover the best things their destinations have to offer.
Use Your Knowledge from Tourism College to Exert Leadership
Finally, especially with small tour groups, effective leadership can make a big difference in running a tour that is smooth, hassle-free, and enjoyable for all. Make sure you approach activities and new destinations with confidence and enthusiasm, as your attitude will impact the members of your tour group.
Communicate with the individuals in your party, and use this information to make decisions about the tour trajectory. For instance, if the tour participants seem tired or unenthusiastic, this could indicate that adjusting your itinerary for an earlier lunch break would be well-received.
As you will learn in tourism college, successful group travel design depends not only on a well structured plan, but on your ability to confidently execute that plan in a manner that is responsive to your clients’ needs. Taking the initiative to lead proactively will give your clients confidence in you and your tour, making it a more relaxed and engaging experience for all.
Are you interested in learning to run group tours?
Contact us at Canadian Tourism College to learn more about the many skills you can develop in our travel and tourism college programs!