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Tour Guiding Principles &Techniques

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Joy Vidarozaga

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Tour Guiding Principles &Techniques

Tour Guiding Principles &Techniques
The Tourism Industry
Composite of industries and entities, both public and private
Involved in the planning, development, marketing, sales & promotion, evaluation of destinations, products and services
Caters to the needs of travelers, both foreign and domestic

People who leave their homes to temporarily visit a place
They should be spending and not earning money from the place they visit
Reasons can be pleasure, meetings or seminars
With the intention of learning something about the place like its history, people, culture

Basic factors for a successful tourist destination
Attractions which can be site itself or an event
Amenities or facilities like accommodation, food, local, transportation, communication and entertainment at the site
Peace and order

Government Sector
Department of Tourism
Phil. Convention & Visitors Corp. (PCVC) – marketing arm
Phil. Tourism Authority (PTA)– implementing arm
Local Government Units (LGUs)
Other National Gov’t. Units (NGUs)

Private Sector
Transportation companies – land, sea, air & rail (others; like calesa)
Hostelry industry – accommodation establishments
Entertainment industry
Travel trade – tour operator, tour guides
Other private sector entities

Characteristics of Tourism
Product is not brought to the consumer;
The tourism product is not used up, it doesn’t exhaust the country’s natural resources;
Characterized by the changing ideas of its customers.

Tour guide
A tour guide is one who conducts a tour or one with broad knowledge of a particular area whose primary duty is to inform

Tour guide
According to the Tour Guide Code of 1987 promulgated by DOT.
An individual, who, either as an employee or affiliate of a duly licensed travel & tour agency, GUIDE tourist, both foreign and domestic, for a fee, commission or any lawful form of remuneration.

As a profession…
Must be Filipino citizen;
At least 2nd year college;
Pass the qualifying interview by DOT;
Must undergo and pass a DOT-sponsored seminar;
LGU – licensed;
DOT – accredited.

Tour Guide
SYNONYMS for tour guide used within the industry include tourist guide ( commonly used in Europe and many other parts in the world), local guide, and the city guide.

Nature of Tour Reception & Guiding
First impression of tourists play a very important role.
Receiving tourists is just like receiving guests in your home
Show the best without boasting or overdoing.
Guiding is not simply telling them “to your left, to your left”, there’s a lot more into it.

Duties and Responsibilities
Provide them information and explanations about the place honestly without prejudice;
Ensure a factual presentation, make sure to distinguish the truth stories, legends, traditions;
Act fairly and reasonably in all dealings with colleagues and co-workers;
Always act with tact and diplomacy in dealing with the guests.
Always report for duty healthy and positive
Never take advantage of the ignorance of the tourists,
Never allow yourself to be used by unscrupulous organizations who want to take advantage of the tourists,
Usee common sense and be honest by saying “ I don’t know,…I will check,..”

Ensure guest’s safety, warn them on:
Plants that might cause some allergies.
Food and drinks that might not suit their digestive system.
Elevation for those with vertigo and fear of height.
Dogs that might bite.
Presence of pickpockets in crowded areas.

Protect the reputation of tourism by making every assignment a treat, with respect to the environment, wildlife, sights & monuments, local customs & traditions.
Act responsibly as representative of the country and the people.

Communication Skills
Language proficiency
Avoid using highfalutin words, use simple, easy to understand words
Try to get rid of regional accent
Use synonyms to explain, to describe something
Use non-verbal communication in a difficult thing or situation

Speak audibly, not too soft and not too loud
Conduct your commentary in a relaxed, entertaining manner (they came here to enjoy, remember)

Kinds of Tour Guides
Free Lance – not permanently connencted with any travel agency and paid per trip.

Staff Guide – permanently connected with a travel agency, receives monthly salary.

1. Daily-run tour – is a conducted regularly.
Specially arranged tour- is a tour specially arranged based on the specific needs of the tourist, normally not conducted regularly.
2. Seat-in Coach- is a tour participated by different tour members with varied pick-up points but going to the same destination. 3. 3. They do not know each other until they join this tour group.

4. Walking tour- is a type of tour where tour members have to do a lot of walking in order to see the different aspects of the tour ( walking tour of Intramuros)

5. Museum Tour- is normally a visit to the different museums as the main part of the tour. It could be a whole or half day of museums visits.

6.Plant Tour/ Company Visit- conducted normally with students visiting an actual plant or company which is related to the course of study.
Lectures are given by in-house speakers and actual tour of the different areas of the company is included.
This tour is done to compliment the actual observation phase of their theoritical background learned in school.
It is an exposure to the real world of the industry they chose to practice after graduation
7. Eco- Tour – is a tour to the different ecology sites with emphasis on the preservation of the environment.( normally includes, walking, hiking and interaction with the natives.

8. Pilgrimage tour- is a visit to the religious and worship places like churches and mission houses.

9. Other specialized tour- is a tour conducted for a specific type of tourists like going to a faith healer, shooting a film, agri-toursim, or any other tour of special interest .

Types of Tour Guides

1. On-site guide- conducts tours of one or several hours at a specific place, site or building. Another example of on-site guide is a museum curator ( usually well informed)
2. Docents- are volunteer guides normally in the small museum and often work for free.
City Guide- points and comments on the highlights of a city, usually from a motor coach, minibus, or van but does sometimes as part of a walking tour.

4. Driver Guide- is a city guide who does double duty by driving the vehicle while narrating.
5. Personal or Private Guide- whose services may be available at a reasonable price, take a small number of individuals on their own exclusive tour.
6. Specialized Guide- is someone whose expertise or skills are highly unique. For ex. Adventure guides lead unusual, physically demanding tour experiences ( diving, rafting, safari, trekking or spelunking)

7. Step-on Guide or freelance “ specialists”-who come abroad motor coaches to give an informed overview of the city to be toured.

8. Local Guide- is a person competent enough to give information on a certain area or locality.

9. Specialist Guide- is a person who specializes in a certain field such as botany, architecture, zoology, etc.

10. Linguist Guide- is a person fluent in two or more foreign languages.

11.Escort – person who accompanies a group of tourists from the point of origin to the destination, and back to the origin. Usually handles group’s check in and check out.

13. Indigenous Guide- is a guide with a native or aboriginal background with a deep understanding of their culture.

14. Nature-based or Eco-tour Guide- is a guide who is a specialist in environmental knowledge.

The Scope of a tourist Guides Work
A. The tour guide- is defined as a person who takes tourist around the places of interest on foot and on tours, or other means of transport , and who imparts to them information during the trip.

Given these tasks, a tour guide must be able to project two basic assets:
1. A personality able to present the information clearly, enjoyable and with something of the artistic skills of an entertainer.

2. An ability to convey factual and interesting information with all the skills of a good teacher and lecturer.

Persons wanting to become tour guides must possess:

good education, proper motivation

Full and proper training in his work- in the degree and scope of knowledge required, the skills and techniques needed,etc.

Must have passed careful selection process.

In some instances of industry practice, the tour guide is expected to include the work of COURIER, although in the strict sense, a courier should not do guiding work.

The courier work of a guide involves:
1. Welcoming tour groups at the point of entry and dispatching them.
2. Organizing correct baggage transfers
3. Accompanying parties in transit and assuring safe arrival, etc.
4. Assisting groups through customs (with permission from proper authorities)
5. Ensuring parties to have comfortable accommodation, good transport and meals, well arranged facilities, etc.

6. Checking in and out of group
7. Arranging if necessary, alternative facilities
8. Promoting, arranging and assisting tourists’ optional activities and welfare
9. Establishing good professional relationships with hotels, coach drivers, etc.

In some countries, guides performing the above mentioned responsibilities are known as “National Courier Guides”.
Industry practice would seem to suggest that guides particularly those employed regularly with tour agencies are required to carry out courier duties.

C. Guide Lecturer
Is regarded in the industry as a qualified academic expert who is called upon to guide and to lecture on a higher and more specialized level

Ex. Specialized knowledge in certain field
(art, history, museum, flora and fauna)

D. Tour Manager
This term is used to described those who are generally employed to carry out courier and administrative tasks while accompanying a party on an extended tour of several days or more, probably over a considerable distance and perhaps involving a number of destination/countries.

E. Escorts and Hostesses
- Industry practitioners would use extra care in using the term “escort” or “guide escort” since it generally implies sexual service – as it is being advertised here and abroad with explicit sexual connotations.
- Hostess similarly have this peculiar connotation in certain places, applied professionally.

- It applies to services covering reception, social welfare help ( usually female) provided at airports, planes, hotels for tourists.
- This may include courier work and even guiding ( night spots, boat tours, conferences, etc.)

Applying learning theories to guiding

- Sensitivity to people and willingness to change if the situation requires it
- Guides should be flexible in their performance because of the various type of personalities which guides encounter

Guidelines to Facilitate Learning
1. A broad-based knowledge about the region is essential.
2. Guides must be committed to life long learning.
3. Enthusiasm is a very important characteristic of an effective guide.
4. Empathy and sensitivity toward people.

5. The ability to interpret by painting mental picture rather than merely disseminating information inspires people to learn.
6. Flexibility; ability and willingness to use various principles and methods and to use a different approach if necessary.
7. Pride in serving others. This is another intangible quality.

Educating the Guide
- Commitment to education and high standards
- Must concern itself with its identity and its image
- IDENTITY is the collective set of characteristics of a person or a thing, including its standards and values.
- IMAGE is the perception others have toward it.

Licensing and certification
- In the past, DOT was the institution that was authorized to issue licenses to tour guide. However, after the passage of the Local Gov’t Code of 1991, this authority was transferred to LGU’s.
ACCREDITATION is a certification issued by the DOT that the holder is recognized by the department as having complied with its minimum standards.
- An application for accreditation as tour guide is required to submit the ff:
1. proof that the applicant has passed a seminar for tour guides duly conducted by the DOT, or other agencies duly authorized by the department to conduct the seminar
2. Certificate of good health issued and duly accredited government physician.
3. Clearance from NBI, if alien applicant-valid visa from Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and permit from DOLE

4. License certificate from LGU
5. Such other docs that DOT may require from time to time

- Upon compliance, a certificate of accreditation and ID are issued to the applicant upon payment of accredited fee and fee for ID. These are valid for a period of 1 (one) year from the date of issuance. Accreditation is optional, not compulsory.

Education and Certification
- It is necessary and helpful for guide training to be subject and region oriented.
U.S., Canada and Mexico – presently discussing the establishment of a national core curriculum for guides.
- England-similar concept used in which Nation Tourist Board has established a core curriculum for guides in all regions of the country.

- Many countries feel that they should establish a core curriculum that is challenging and penetrating enough to make difference and yet is broad enough to be applicable to all guides.
1. Even if it is considered too broad or too demanding for all guides and educators from a particular region on a framework from which to make an appropriate curriculum.
2.It provides a basis for guides and educators to deliberate and modify.

History of Tour Guiding
- Guiding is one of the oldest professions of the world.

- Ancient Empire
- From 3000 BC to 500 AD generates travel
- The ancient Persians, Assyrians and Egyptians in organized manner, although travel during this period was slow and dangerous, many travelers continued to travel by land and sea

- Tourism flourished
- Festivals and shows
- Olympic Games which begun in 776 BC
- In Greek language, guides were called “PERIEGETAI” or leaders around or “EXEGETAI” or explainer. Another term was “PROXEMOS” whose function was to help fellow citizen in travelling abroad.
- Herodotus-first travel writer

- In Ancient Rome, travelers increased in number. Sight-seeing proliferated.
- Ilium, the country of Homer, had a thriving tourist business which featured many guides who pointed every significant place of feature mentioned in Iliad. They showed the seashore where the Greek ships had been pulled up; the plain where the battles took place, and the site of the Trojan war which they regarded as the “piece de resistance”

Middle Ages
- The period between the fall of Rome and Renaissance; between 500 A.D. and 1508 A.D.; Dark Ages
- Decline of trade and economy in general and decrease in the desire to travel
- Religious pilgrimage to such places as Cantebury, Winchester and Walsingham.
- Encounters with robbers along the way were very much afraid to travel alone.

Greek Empire
References to guides during this period emphasized their roles as pathfinders, protectors, safety escorts and even bridges to ensure safe passage

According to Casson, a historian, a guide was paid large fee because he not only led the way but also generated safe conduct to the travelers

Renaissance and the Grand Tour
- Grand Tour – young men from the upper class traveled from Britain
- Prescribed route from England to France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Italy as the final destination.

- Since these journey were taken for educational and cultural reasons, the individuals or group were usually assigned to a personal tutor, who was called a ‘bear leader’, ‘antiquarii’, or ‘cicerone’

- Ventturino, a driver of the italian four-wheel carriages called Vettura; hired by the travelers of 17th to 19th centuries

Modern Age
- During 17th and 18th centuries, travelers to and within the New World were explorer rather than pleasure travelers

- Few New World travelers or guides were known to have existed during the period

Types of Guided Tours
1. Package Tour

- A vacation plan arranged by tour operators or wholesalers which provides for a set free, all or most required services.

- Independent Tours- arranged by travel agents or tour operators and are tailored to meet the specific needs and desires of individuals. These tours are: unscheduled allowing travelers to plan activities and choose restaurants as they travel.
i. Foreign Independent Tours (FITs)
ii. Domestic Independent Tours ( DITs)

b. Hosted Tours- un-schedules, features a host stationed in a designated location and available for assistance.
- Independent and hosted travelers may wish to avoid guides, but many will take part in fixed departure guided tours or arrange for private tours once they arrive in the city.

c. Escorted Tours- more structured and feature a tour manager throughout.
- Often incorporate local guides (step-on guides) at major cities or sites.

2. CUSTOMS Tours- designed to fit the specific needs of a particular market or affinity group. ( Themed Tour)

3. CONVENTION Tours- excursions provided for persons attending meetings and conventions.
- Most cities which host conventions have ground operators or tour operators who plan these tours.

4. INCENTIVE Tours- usu. Loosely structured and offer an array of choices for the participants.

5. FIXED DEPARTURE Tours- regularly scheduled public tours.
6. FAMILIARIZATION Tours- usu complimentary or reduced-rate travel programs designed to acquaint travel agents, tour operators and other industry personnel w specific destination
1. Explorers- Participant-observers who travel alone or in very small groups.
- Do not require special tourist accommodation or attractions and therefore offer little or no threat to local residents.
2. Elite Travelers- can afford to spend much to have un-usual travel experiences./ few in member
- Demand some degree of comfort in amenities.

1. Off-beat Tourist- Travel alone or in small number.- avoid crowds, other tourist, typical sight seeing, adapt well to local lifestyles and amenities and pose few problems to local residents.
2. Unusual Tourists- Demand more amenities and look for unusual, adventure or primitive experiences.
3. Incipient Mass Tourist- Represent business and vacation travelers.- travel individually or small group.- demand Western-style amenities.

6. Mass Tourist- They are large groups of middle-class travelers who visit popular sites and also demand Western- style amenities.
7. Charter Tourist- They arrive in large groups, generating a large volume of business but often demanding impersonal and standardized services.
- Great impact to locals
- Tour operator-must offer name tags and little one-to-one interaction with visitors and locals.

Understanding the Impact of Mass Tourism on Both Travelers & Local People
- Group Traveler- Most preferred by many.

- Reasons: Comfort, safety, education, economy and companionship
It offers the easiest and often only way to gain access to some places.
- Families, extended family reunions, corporate travelers, association executives, association members, clubs and affinity groups, school groups, university and alumni groups, people w/ disabilities, foreign and domestic travelers joining groups, business and incentive groups.

- Student Groups- are popular in some regions esp. in Historic places or in places that lend themselves in some way to the curriculum of the school.

- Provincial Capital is a destination for regional school groups.
- Cities w/c have zoos, fine museums, historic homes, other educational attractions.
- Students usually fall between the ages of 11-17.
- Occasions for student group travel include senior class trips, safety patrol trips and trips related to specific curricula topics.

Challenges in working w/ students
- It is important for teachers and guides to establish clear ground rules and require discipline among the students.
- Many guides allow accompanying teachers to set the organizational and disciplinary tone for the tour since as chaperons, their primary duty is the safety of the students.( Teachers are more familiar w/ the curriculum, school’s regulation and learning level of the student
- Guide will conduct the tour at the level of understanding of the students.

Business Travelers
- Sales, research, meetings and conferences.
- Sightseeing is usually secondary to their trip.
- They are interested in an overview rather than in –depth tour.
- They are regular travelers and may have visited a region.
- Convention Travelers- tours are usu. - - Brief and structured and are generally prearranged by meeting planners

Incentive Travelers
- Business people who were given trips by companies as a reward for their accomplishments.
- These people visit an area principally for pleasure.

Family Travelers
- Conducting tours with parents and infants or toddlers, interpretations should be directed towards the adults.
- As children become older, the guide directs commentary to them, interacts with them, ask them questions, encourages them to talk about what they know and what they want to know about the area.
- Many guides talk principally to the children and add comments and clarifications to adults.

Senior Citizens
- Demanding, slow, patient, impatient, repetitive, and punctual
- Many guides find senior citizens to be the groups of choice.
- Younger senior citizens participate in some of the most active adventure-oriented tours
- Older senior citizens often prefer more passive, leisurely tours.

Clubs or Affinity Groups
- These groups usu. Have a common interest.
- They are generally enjoyable esp. when the values or interests of the group coincide with that of the guide.
- These groups are usu. Pre-acquainted and compatible.

Public Tour Groups
- Participants have in common: when they decide to visit the same place at the same.
- They are not usu acquainted with each other
- Challenge for the guide: is to interpret to a diverse group of people and attempt to unite the group.

Challenges of Group Travel
International Travelers
- The characteristics of multi-cultural groups are a more dynamic, informative and rewarding experience for both visitors and guides.
Interpreting the different customs, body language and personalities of people throughout the world can be very confusing.
- Most often, an innocent comment or gesture can alarm or offend visitors.
- It is a must to know the customs and behavior of their guests, such as: greetings, punctuality, gift- giving, dress, gestures and general protocol, they should observe and understand people throughout their most fundamental level of values.

Tour Guiding Techniques
Pre – tour:

- Study your tour assignment
- Be aware of the composition of the group
- Review itinerary
- Be reminded of cash advances, vouchers needed
- Know your vehicle to be used, plate number and name of driver or coordinator.

On Tour:
- Be punctual
- Make sure you have complete name of guests, cash advances and tour vouchers
- Check your transport amenities
- Meet and greet the group
- Discuss itinerary and check other concerns
- Deliver commentaries
- Announce inclusions of the tour and what to expect
- End your day/tour by thanking the guests
- Announce the next day’s itinerary/program and give instructions

Post Tour:
- Gather all collected vouchers
- Prepare tour guide’s report
- Submit tour report to immediately after the tour
- Accomplish financial report with receipts, vouchers and other assignments
- Liquidate ( if necessary)

Guiding Techniques
- Be prepared, study the destination
- Plan your spiel or commentary, it should be structured
- Have an update on the local and global news and environmental issues
- Intercede when necessary in the interaction with the guest and the locals
- Be aware on the basic human behavior and attitudes
- Do research to back up your facts
- Be ready for pertinent and impertinent questions
- In cases of having more than one guide, find some time to sit down, discuss to synchronize information & learn from each other.

- Never tell your personal life at first meeting
- Never sell anything at first meeting unless they ask
- Be punctual at all times.
- Learn map reading
- Learn how to say NO to indecent proposals
- Make a head count before, during and after the tour, especially on stops
- Be practical when making judgment, think if the benefit of the majority
- Be a good decision maker
- Learn basic first aid

Primary Role of a Tour Guide
- The tour guide makes or breaks the tour”
-A manager of a tour agency said, “Everything is useless in a tour without competent guides”
- Another tour operator said, “No other factor in a tour is as important as an efficient guide”

-Maintaining control of a group
-Disseminating information
-Efficient getting people to as many sights as possible
-Teaching history
-Representing a city in a favorable way

Although respondents differed in their views, all agreed :
1) that the guide’s role varies depending upon the setting, the visitor, the purpose of the visit and the guide himself

2) that one of the characteristics of a professional guide is the ability to carry out wide variety of duties and functions simultaneously

Five roles of Tour Guides “ Image is what your are perceived by others; Identity is what you are
1) The leader
- Majority of the employers of guides regard leadership as the most important aspect
- Several tour operators are often more concerned with a guide’s effectiveness with people and ability to lead groups rather than with the guide’s knowledge or experience

The leadership sphere of the guide includes the ff. components:
1) the instrumental components– navigating, providing special access, shepherding and maintaining control
2) the social components - tension management, integrating the group, keeping good humor and morale, and entertaining members of the tour

the guide as a leader must have SKILLS such as:

- Willingness to assume responsibility to organize
- Ability to organize and make wise decisions
- Strength to respond to emergencies
- Skill to coordinate many administrative task simultaneously

2) The educator
- Travel is powerful teacher
- Travel stimulates the exchange of knowledge
they must be proficient in many other subjects depending on the site or region
- They teach subjects within the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor aspects of learning.

Cognitive- acquiring information such as identifying the trees, birds, and flowers on particular region, and interpreting the local ecology.

Affective – includes attitude and value formation, interest, emotion, special perspective and insight
Psychomotor –learning to perform regional dances and to cook regional dishes

3) The Public Relation Representative
- Most difficult to aspect of a guide’s work.
- Tour guides are frequently called ambassadors because of the personal connections they create between places ad visitors
- The term ambassador is appropriate considering the diplomatic skills required of them
- A guide is expected to project a specific image or message to visitors and answer controversial questions.

4) The Host
- Hosts have many roles including those of companion, mediator, advocate, entertainer, concierge, storyteller and others
- Many guides, like comedians, measures the amount of laughter and applause they get to be the measure of their success
- Humor in travel is both instructive and satisfying and the ability to use it is a sign of a skilled communicator
- Furthermore, an understanding of cultural differences and variations of humor is essential

A good host:
-enjoys people
-has the ability to create an environment which people feel comfortable and enjoy themselve
-sensitive to the needs of others
-knows when and how to changes the course of conversation or activity
-knows how to bring out the best in people
-extends help when needed
The most important element in the role of a host is a genuine interest in travelers.

5) The Conduit
- Channel or link
- Most powerful and long lasting
- They are the medium rather than the message
- Most intangible and most difficult to illustrate or teach
- It is very difficult to illustrate or to teach because it is the innate understanding of when to be silent, when to encourage, when to step back and when to move on.

Seven Sins of Service
- According to Karl Albrecht, the seven sins of service as applied to guiding are:

Qualities of an IDEAL Tour Guide
1. Enthusiasm- keen interest for the subject matter and travelers.
2. An outgoing and Approachable Nature- friendly, open in many types of situation, encourage others to do the same.
3.Self-confidence- self-esteem combined with experience.
4. A proactive nature- initiate change and the willingness to assume responsibility for initiating change.- guides are subject to challenging and unpredictable situations for which they must find quick solutions.

Sensitivity- compassionate, respectful, tactful, and observant. Sensitive to the needs of tourists.
6. Flexibility- Adaptable and patient.
7. Authenticity- Genuineness and honesty. Tourist trust guides who are honest and sincere.
8. A PLEASANT, PROFESSIONAL Appearance- First impression are often lasting and are frequently based on one’s physical appearance.
9. Sense of Humor- Can bring people closer together, put them at ease and help make travel enjoyable instead of stressful and unpleasant.

10. KNOWLEDGE- Several Programs are available on such relevant topics as the travel industry, cross cultural understanding, speaking techniques and marketing.
11. Good COMMUNICATIONS Skills- includes: articulation, eye contact, gestures, and a clear pleasant speaking voice.
12. ORGANIZATION- Time management and Organizational skills.
-: instructions, maps, appointment and confirmation letters, pax info, confirm reservation, coordinate routes w drivers, update agencies about tour’s status

13. DECISIVENESS- Make quick decisions.
- Difficult decisions: involve spending company’s money or CHANGING an itinerary.
14. GOOD HEALTH- requires plenty of energy and flexibility.
15. PERSONAL Integrity- Have moral responsibility to themselves, their employers, colleagues, travelers and even to their regions.
16. CHARISMA- “ personal magic of leadership arousing popular loyalty or enthusiasm.”

How to Make Commentary
- Effective Commentary requires audience analysis and visitors expectations
- Factors to consider in analyzing the audience:
- Nationality and country of origin
- Age and sex

- Socio-economic grouping and education
- Financial resources
- Special interest
- How long is their visit?
- Have they been here before?
- How much do they already know?
- Where else have they been?
- Where else are they going?

- Some of these information can be obtained:
- At the time of booking
- From the tour manager (background info)
- Visitors-best source of info
Effective Commentary is TWO-WAY CLIENT EXPECTATION
Information should be delivered in an entertaining manner – information is made up of a series of data

Above all data must be:
- Accurate
- Selective and relevant both to the tour and client
- Structured
- Varied
- Above all objectives

Effective commentary is a TWO-WAY GUIDE INTENTIONS
- There should be also a hidden agenda
- Promote hometown, country.. (please come back….)
- Dispel misconception
- Involve the tour participants

Steps on how to make a commentary
- Begin with a smile, greeting and introduction
- Brief the guests about the tour for the day
- Review the inclusions and exclusions of the tour
- Give the distance and traveling time of the destination

- What to expect from the tour
- Give necessary precautions
- Do not miss to point important landmarks along the way
- Announce comfort stops
- Always do the head count

Tips for an effective tour commentary
Start with a greeting or introduction
Information should be delivered in a manner that would interest the guests
Sense of humor should be part of the delivery of information
Remember, commentaries help people understand and appreciate what they actually see

- Start with a greeting or introduction
- Information should be delivered in a manner that would interest the guests
- Sense of humor should be part of the delivery of information
- Remember, commentaries help people understand and appreciate what they actually see

- Use synonyms, example in explaining something
- When mentioning a name, repeat it or spell it
- Maintain silence, if the need arises
- Listen carefully to questions and other concerns
- Never argue with the guests
- End your tour always by thanking the guests

-Face the group, not a few
-Speak slowly and clearly
-Voice should be audible
-Practice eye contact
-Prepare yourself for questions to be asked
-Take control of your breathing and emphasize important words

Guides must have:
1.Come From Diff. countries:
- diverse in taste, behavior and values

- Develop a deeper understanding of various countries and cultures
2. Are exposed to other cultures thru T.V. movies, videos, travel

- Be able to provide a broader, more cosmopolitan perspective.

3. Now have traveled more than previous generations, they may be more discriminating and demanding about the level of service and care they receive
4. Increased demands on time, travelers may wish to see more in less time.
- there are other travelers who prefer in-depth, slower-paced excursions, such as: Archaeological tours or wildlife photography tours.

5. Traveled to popular regions will be more interested in usual places

- The future will demand that guides specialize in a wide variety of areas such as nature, architecture, foreign and sign languages

- Guides in rural areas will be given more opportunities

Working with different age group
- As many sites and cities around the world provide ideal learning environment for children of all ages-for some guides,
- They are the most difficult to guide
- CHALLENGES: in terms of Discipline, motivation, and interest level.
- Tours designed to have longer hours
- Guides: Skillful and use creative techniques

Senior Citizen
- favorite age group of guides

- The ff. tips can help guides develop rapport and maintain cohesiveness and order:
1. Allow extra time for the tour as many activities will take longer, such as getting on and off a motor coach, eating and walking anywhere.
2. Pause frequently and make several short stops on walking tours.

Senior Citizen
- The ff. tips can help guides develop rapport and maintain cohesiveness and order:
3. Be particularly attentive to fatigue or any sign of stress or illness.
4. Pay close attention to special medical problems or difficulties and pay attention to their status.
5. Always repeat instructions, esp. meeting times.

Working w/ “DIFFICULT” People
- Meet tourists who:
- Complain, late and those who dominate others.
- Poor behavior handled with compassion and reason can be converted to model behavior.
- It is the guide who is largely responsible for the ambiance of a tour.
- Create an atmosphere of harmony and mutual trust.

Working w/ “DIFFICULT” People
- In the first meeting,
visitors will scrutinize
the guide for signs
About his attitude, personality, capability
and other indications about the kind of
experience they will have .

- If such scrutiny is disheartening, guides
Should note the FF:
1. People Travel on tours to enjoy Themselves.
2. Most people would like to see the guide succeed.
3. No one expects perfection.

Establishing Rapport and Cohesiveness
Rapport- “ sympathetic relationship and mutual trust.
Based on the premise that people perceive primarily on one of three ways: - Visually, Auditory, and kinesthetically.
1. The Following Tips can help guides develop rapport and maintain cohesiveness and order:
Be prepared- Guides: mastery of his subject.
- Travelers will respect a guide who knows his subject very well.
2. Adopt an Attitude of Friendliness and take responsibilities for creating and maintaining harmony.
3. Let visitors know that their enjoyment is of primary concern.
4. Respect of others and be a careful, concerned listener.
5. Give Clear Instructions.

6. Don’t Give Ultimatums that cannot or will not be enforced.- It should not be done w/ out considerable warning and care.
7. Follow through on promises- not to mention places and events that passengers may not be able to see.
8. Avoid Playing Favorites.
9. Exemplify the desired behavior.
- Guides should possess the traits of a model traveler such as arriving early for every departure, avoiding gossip, not telling or laughing at insensitive jokes, not talking while others are talking.

Working under DIFFICULT Circumstances
- The most difficult circumstances are those involving safety such as medical emergencies and motor coaches breakdowns.
- Most of the problems involve personalities.
- The most common situation: complaints about some aspect of the tour.
- Handling complaints requires patience and Diplomacy.
- They must speak on behalf of the company.
- Customer Complaints, Guides should ask themselves these Questions:
1. What exactly is the complaint?
2. Is the guest’s complaint valid?
3. Can the situation be resolved easily?

*** Finally, in all cases of visitors’ complaints or problems- guide should document the situation and report it to tour company.

Dealing w/ Habitually Late Pax
- Habitually Late Passengers- are common problem to tour guides.
- Late coming: shows lack of Courtesy and When the schedule of several people are affected
- Guide : needs to establish firm policies on punctuality.

Dealing w/ Difficult Questions
- More Experienced Guide- Welcomes Questions, esp. Challenging One.
- New Tour Guide- Often fear questions



1. For w/c a guide does not have an answer.

“ I don’t know but I’ll find out.”
***Guide can use free time to look up the answer
“ I don’t know, Does anyone else know?
*** this will give chance for others to participate.

2. Whose answers are controversial.
( About Politics, Religion, local scandals, or pending criminal cases)
“That’s being debated here. Some feel… and others believe…
*** Another Tactic is to return the question: “ What do you think”- This will end the discussion.
*** Invite other opinion & people enjoy giving opinions.
“ I don’t discuss my political views”
3. That are too personal
( Questions that are very personal that no one should be asking and no one is obliged to answer.
How much money do you make?
Why don’t you have any BF?
*** Children often ask very personal question.

Soln. to personal questions is to respond w a depersonalized answer. Or “ I prefer not to answer that”

4. That shed an unfavorable light on the guide or some aspect of the region.
*** When a guide is asked a difficult question he or she should not ignore the question but instead acknowledge it and stress the positive points.
“ When asked how they can tolerate the high humidity of a certain region= some guides will point the lush and green environment of the region.

Complicated question or one that is not interesting to everyone
*** Divert the question to later time.
“ Maybe we can spare a few miin. Later to talk about that”

*** In the summary, the FF. FACTORS are helpful in answering questions:
1. Welcome Questions
2. Be gracious, even when the question is “ difficult”
3. Never regard a question as stupid or trivial.
4. Never feel obliged to answer personal questions.
5. Acknowledge a controversial question, then move on to positive points.
6. Use humor when appropriate.

Cross-cultural understanding
- The ff. are the guidelines that may help those in the service industry develop a multicultural perspective
1) Learn about the people and the cultures of the world
2) Travel
3) Learn a language
4) Participate in specialized cross-cultural training

- The ff. basic guidelines are recommended by cross cultural counselors for those who work with different cultures and languages:
1.Speak slowly and distinctly until the level if understanding is established.
2. Pay attention to voice volume.
3. Encourage listeners to question what they do not understand or interrupt if they need to have something repeated

4. Encourage and reassure visitors in their use of the language
5. Be patient
6. Speak in terms of positives rather tan negatives.
7. In case an interpreter is present, talk to the listener not to the interpreter.
Qualities of a Successful Speaker
- Be prepared-
- Preparation is not to be confused w memorization of speeches wc is the usual habit of many guides.
- Thorough preparation increases a speaker’s confidence and make sure that he is comfortable w the subject.
- To have sincere desire and interest to share a subject w the group.
- Experience will definitely help develop confidence in speaking.

Body Language
Includes- Postures, movement, gestures, eye contact and dress
Listeners will believe what they see rather than what they hear.

- Shows much about a person’s self-esteem, health and level of interest in his surroundings.
- Tense: stiff posture is as un-appealing as a slouched posture.
- Ideal Posture: Erect but relaxed
-Advantages of Good Posture: efficient breathing, better health and appearance, increased energy and a stronger, clearer voice.

Body Movement and Gestures
- Gestures such as the movements of the body, face and hands are strong communication tools.
- Nervous Movement & Unnatural gestures- can diminish the trust people have in a guide.
- Repetitive Movements or Gestures: can be very distracting

Common disabilities
- Hearing Impairments (mild, moderate, severe and profound)
- Always speak clearly and distinctly
- Do not speak while walking or when one’s back is turned
- Practice speaking using diaphragm muscles to create a lower and more resonant voice
- Stand in a well lighted area

- Be sure that the light does not come from behind as it will create a silhouette which will make lip reading very difficult
- Face the persons with hearing problems
- Repeat important info such as meeting times and changes in itinerary, can be done by group or individually

Visual impairments
- With eyeglasses, contact lenses, lacks vision, blind person may travel with sighted person, cane or dog guide
How to enhance tours:
- Talk directly to the person
- Speak at a normal volume
- Offer assistance to whatever mobility device
- Include sensory experiences other than sight
- Use visual verbs like “see or look”
- Include touchable items on a tour

Mobility Impairments
- Can be results of accidents, paralysis, strokes or diseases such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis and cerebral palsy
How to enhance tours:
- Offer help directly to the person
- Allow extra time throughout the tour
- Be aware of the comfort level of PWDs
- In case they cannot go to the site, offer to take a picture with their camera or pick up a brochure or handbook

Learning disabilities
- ”silent disabilities”
- Perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, developmental aphasia
- Hyperactivity, inattention, lack of coordination, perceptual disorders and memory disorder
- How to enhance tours:
- Give clear overview of the tour
- For children with hyper/hypo activity, know what behavior is expected

- Repeat important or difficult ideas
- Always ask the group if they have questions
- Use different learning methods
- Involve a variety of senses
- Use a variety of approaches

Research Skills

- Domestic tourism
- Natural and man-made attractions
- Historical sites
- Events, fiestas
- National, local and regional boundaries
- Geography and topography

Communication Skills

- Reading

- Thinking and writing

- Delivery of commentary

- Verbal and non- verbal

- Inside the classroom

- Individual commentary-making

- Delivery of commentary

Mock tour

Actual tour to a destination

- Observation from a licensed, professional tour guide how to conduct a tour

- Critiquing based on tour guiding principles and techniques

- Tour to a destination with a prepared, memorized spiel or commentary on a chosen tourist attraction ( on the bus)

- Invite resource speaker, tour guide for additional hands-on lecture/presentation

- Mock and actual tour is required to complete the competencies of a tour guide

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