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Start & Run a Tour Guiding Business

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ISBN-13:
9781770408364
Einband:
EPUB
Seiten:
288
Autor:
Barbara Braidwood Richard Cropp
Serie:
Self-Counsel Press
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
XML
Kopierschutz:
2 - DRM Adobe
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

ACKOWLEDGMENTS xix
INTRODUCTION xxi
1 BEFORE YOU QUIT YOUR DAY JOB 1
1. Why group travel? 1
1.1 Convenient, hassle-free travel 2
1.2 Companionship 2
1.3 Safety 3
1.4 Affordability 3
1.5 Knowledgeable leader 3
2. Different types of tours 3
2.1 Cruising 3
2.2 Rail tours 3
2.3 Bus tours 4
v
2.4 Adventure/eco tours 4
2.5 City tours 4
2.6 Theme tours 4
3. Different types of guides 5
3.1 Local guide 5
3.2 Tour director 6
3.3 Tour operator 6
2 CAN YOU REALLY DO THIS DREAM JOB? 7
1. The rewards 8
1.1 Freedom 8
1.2 Challenge and excitement 8
1.3 Creative opportunity 8
1.4 Sharing the joy of a destination 8
1.5 Meeting people 9
1.6 Tax write-offs 9
2. Day to day - the reality 9
2.1 Long hours 9
2.2 You are never off duty 10
2.3 Be prepared for complaints 10
2.4 You are not going to get rich 10
2.5 Home is where the laundry is 10
3 GETTING THE JOB 13
1. Assessing yourself 13
1.1 Characteristics of success 13
1.2 Sticking to your goals 14
1.3 Do your homework 17
2. Formal education 17
3. The importance of language 18
3.1 Learning a language 19
3.2 Body language 21
4. Your résumé 21
5. A starting point 23
vi Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
6. How much will I make? 23
6.1 Pay rates 23
6.2 Contracts 24
7. Occupational standards 24
7.1 Canada 24
7.2 United States 25
7.3 Europe 25
4 MEET THE PLAYERS 27
1. The travel suppliers 27
1.1 Airlines 28
1.2 Consolidators and wholesalers 29
1.3 Tour operators 29
1.4 Hotels and car rental agencies 31
1.5 Insurance 31
1.6 Cruises 31
2. Agency specialties 32
3. Travel regulators - IATA, BSP, IATAN, and ARC 32
5 WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME 35
THE PERFECT TOUR DIRECTOR?
1. General duties 36
1.1 Present a professional image at all times 36
1.2 Encourage people to experience the 38
uniqueness of a destination
1.3 Be environmentally aware 38
1.4 Hurry up latecomers 39
1.5 Keep written, daily reports 39
1.6 Have map, will travel 39
2. Welcome to today's destination - providing commentary 40
2.1 The area's natural environment 42
2.2 Sociology 43
2.3 The area's history and current statistics 43
Contents vii
2.4 Transportation 43
2.5 Taxes 43
3. It's all a matter of communication 44
3.1 Keeping their attention 44
3.2 Can everyone hear me? 45
3.3 The strange case of the missing voice 46
4. Keep people informed about all activities 46
5. Confirm and reconfirm all reservations 48
6. Be prepared 48
6 YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY 51
1. At the airport (or other terminals) 51
1.1 Confirm your group's reservation 51
1.2 Departure day 53
1.3 Checking in 54
1.4 Boarding 54
1.5 During the flight 55
1.6 On arrival at the destination terminal 55
2. Hotels 57
2.1 On arrival 57
2.2 Moving on, checking out 60
3. Luggage 61
3.1 Precautions 61
3.2 Keeping track while on tour 63
3.3 A lifesaver tracking tip 65
3.4 Lost luggage 65
4. Dining 65
4.1 Seating 66
4.2 Considerations for group dining 66
4.3 Menus 67
4.4 Take regular breaks 67
4.5 The "best" place to eat may not be 67
viii Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
5. Border crossings and other wild animals 68
5.1 Passports and travel documentation 68
5.2 Restricted items 69
5.3 Register valuables 69
5.4 Duty free 69
5.5 Keep all receipts 69
5.6 Carry only what is yours 70
6. Selling optional excursions 70
7. It's party time 71
7.1 Hello, my name is... 71
7.2 Good-bye; I'll write soon 72
7 OVER LAND AND SEA 73
1. Cruising 73
1.1 All aboard 73
1.2 Getting to know your floating hotel 74
1.3 The send-off party 74
1.4 Shore excursions 74
1.5 Making it unique 76
1.6 You are still in charge 77
2. Motorcoaches - on the buses 78
2.1 Seat rotation 78
2.2 Safety 81
2.3 Let the games begin 81
2.4 Your driver and you 82
2.5 Washroom and pit stops 83
3. Adventure/eco-touring 83
8 PROBLEMS COME IN ALL SIZES 85
1. Lost or stolen property 85
1.1 Credit cards 89
1.2 Passport 89
1.3 Driver's license 89
1.4 Traveler's checks 89
Contents ix
2. Health issues 89
2.1 Look after your own health 89
2.2 Carry first-aid basics 90
2.3 Illness or injury 90
2.4 Death 95
3. Dismissing someone from the tour 95
4. Bumping 96
5. Missing member 97
9 SEE YOU AGAIN SOON - FOLLOWING UP 99
1. Short-term follow-up 100
2. Long-term follow-up 104
10 ORGANIZING YOUR OWN TOUR 105
1. The big step - branching out on your own 106
2. The theme - why your tour will be different 106
3. We're here! Now what? 108
4. Timing 109
5. Sheltering your guests 110
6. Nourishing your guests 111
6.1 Restaurants 112
6.2 What about alcohol? 113
6.3 Food on adventure/wilderness tours 113
7. Miscellaneous concerns 113
7.1 Medical 114
7.2 Security 114
7.3 Insurance 115
8. Costing out your trip 115
8.1 Getting there 115
8.2 Food 116
8.3 Accommodations 116
8.4 Attractions 116
x Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
11 RUNNING YOUR OWN TOURS 119
1. Working as an outside agent 119
1.1 Choosing a travel agency to work with 121
1.2 How to find an agency to work with 124
2. Compensation - trips and cash 124
2.1 Free trips and tour director seats 125
2.2 Getting paid cash 125
2.3 Other ways to get paid 126
2.4 Getting more commission 126
3. Arranging the tour yourself 127
4. Pricing your tour 130
12 MARKETING YOUR TOURS 133
1. Marketing is not just advertising 133
2. Your brochure 134
2.1 Legal fine print 135
2.2 Photos 135
2.3 Printing 135
2.4 Keep words to a minimum 135
3. Use your personal contacts 136
4. The ultimate marketing tool - word of mouth 137
5. Know your competition 137
6. Free publicity 137
7. Conducting informational seminars 139
8. Selling through travel agents 141
9. Direct mail 142
10. Advertising as a small tour operator 142
13 USING THE INTERNET 143
1. Research 143
2. Booking airline seats, cars, and hotels 144
3. E-mail 144
4. Marketing using the World Wide Web 145
Contents xi
5. Your brochure 146
6. Spam 146
7. Collecting money over the Internet 147
8. Keeping in touch 147
14 BUILDING A TOUR COMPANY 149
1. Am I ready to get bigger? 149
2. Day-to-day life of a tour operator 150
3. Rewards 151
4. Statistics about travel businesses 152
5. What are your goals? 153
5.1 Cheap travel 154
5.2 Owning your own business or changing careers 154
5.3 Travel professionals looking for a new career 154
5.4 Tax savings 155
5.5 Making money 155
5.6 Nothing else will do 155
6. Assessing yourself 156
6.1 Your personal qualities 156
6.2 Your experience and education 156
7. Prescriptions for success 158
7.1 Explore the industry 158
7.2 Develop your skills 158
7.3 Planning 159
7.4 Take on a knowledgeable partner 160
7.5 Educate yourself 160
7.6 Learn how to market your business 160
8. Prepare for failure, then concentrate on success 161
8.1 Put all your major assets in someone else's name 161
8.2 Incorporate your company 162
8.3 Sign everything in the company's name 162
8.4 Set limits on the risk you will take 162
9. Do your homework 162
xii Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
15 MAKING YOUR BUSINESS LEGAL 163
1. Set up your business legally 164
1.1 Sole proprietorship 164
1.2 Partnership 165
1.3 Limited partnership 166
1.4 The corporation or limited company 166
1.5 Subchapter "S" 167
2. Other registrations 167
2.1 Workers' compensation 167
2.2 Register with the government for your employees 168
2.3 Goods and services tax (Canada) 168
2.4 Remitting provincial and state sales tax 168
2.5 Municipal license 168
2.6 Better Business Bureau 169
3. Regulations concerning travel businesses 169
4. Short cuts and regulations 170
5. IATA, BSP, IATAN, and ARC 170
5.1 International Air Transport Association 171
(Canada and elsewhere)
5.2 The Bank Settlement Plan (Canada) 172
5.3 International Airlines Travel Agent Network 172
(United States)
5.4 Airlines Reporting Corporation (United States) 173
6. Is an appointment for you? 173
7. Airline plates and appointments 174
16 WHAT WILL MY BUSINESS LOOK LIKE? 175
1. Selling retail products 176
2. Selling complementary tours 176
3. How to choose your products 177
4. How to select suppliers 178
Contents xiii
17 LOCATION 181
1. Types of locations 181
1.1 Enclosed malls (retail only) 181
1.2 Retail street level and small strip malls 182
1.3 Downtown versus suburban 183
1.4 Office buildings 183
2. Points to consider 183
3. Will you get enough walk-in traffic? 185
4. Negotiating the lease 186
18 EQUIPPING YOUR OFFICE 189
1. Telephone systems 191
1.1 Expanding your telephone service 192
1.2 Reducing line charges 192
1.3 Answering machine or service 193
2. Computer 193
3. Fax machine 194
4. Photocopier 194
5. Decorations 195
6. Computerized reservation systems 195
19 FINANCING YOUR TOUR OPERATION 197
1. Source of funds and free financing 197
1.1 Banks 197
1.2 Government guaranteed loans 198
1.3 Venture capital 198
1.4 Family and friends 198
1.5 Personal lines of credit, personal loans, 199
and credit cards
1.6 Other private investors 199
2. How much money will you need? 200
2.1 Your market 204
2.2 Geographic area 204
2.3 Size of your telephone system 204
2.4 Equipment 204
xiv Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
2.5 Expenses associated with your location 205
2.6 Working capital 205
2.7 Other licensing fees 206
3. Adding up the cost of your business 206
4. Recommendations 206
4.1 Forget the frills 206
4.2 Trade time for money 208
4.3 Do not go into debt for the long term 208
4.4 Hire people who care 208
4.5 Read carefully 208
4.6 Think small 208
20 REVENUES AND EXPENSES 209
1. Commissions 209
1.1 Ask for a higher commission 209
1.2 Override commissions 210
1.3 Use wholesalers and consolidators 211
1.4 Join a consortium 211
1.5 Join forces with another agency 212
2. Expenses 212
21 PERSONNEL 215
1. Inside agents 215
2. Managers 216
3. How many people do you need? 216
4. Experience and qualifications of staff 217
5. Where to find employees 218
6. The interview 219
7. Salaries 220
7.1 The commission component 221
7.2 Benefit packages 222
7.3 Reduced rate travel 222
7.4 Vacation time 222
7.5 Free labor 223
Contents xv
8. Staff morale 223
9. Termination 224
22 MARKETING A LARGE TOUR OPERATION 225
1. Choose a descriptive name 225
2. Marketing through travel agents revisited 226
3. Travel shows 228
4. Walk-in traffic - How much do you really want? 228
5. Attracting walk-in traffic 229
6. The brochure rack 230
23 ADVERTISING 231
1. Radio and TV 232
2. Print advertising 232
2.1 Newspapers 233
2.2 Magazines 234
3. Creating effective print advertising 234
3.1 Pick the product to advertise 234
3.2 Create your ad 235
3.3 Choose the right vehicle 235
3.4 Evaluate the response 236
3.5 Helpful hints for print advertising 237
4. Co-op advertising 240
5. Piggyback on someone else's marketing 240
6. Direct mail 241
7. Advertising hotlines 241
8. Advertising on the World Wide Web 242
9. Newletters and other periodic mailings 242
10. Promotions - premium giveaways and contests 243
11. Promotions - charitable donations 243
12. Directories 243
13. Discount coupons 243
24 AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING 245
xvi Start and run a profitable tour guiding business
APPENDIXES
1 Useful organizations and associations 247
2 A preliminary list of tour operators 255
3 Useful magazines and publications 261
CHECKLISTS
1 Tour director's survival kit 50
2 Airport checklist 52
3 Hotel checklist 58
SAMPLES
1 Daily confirmation sheet 49
2 Luggage tag for tour members 62
3 Baggage tracking form (To be used with a master 64
tour-member/room list)
4 Motorcoach seating/rotation plan 79
5 Lost/stolen article report form 86
6 Medical assistance waiver 91
7 Discharge/dismissal form 92
8 Tour evaluation form 101
9 Contract for exchanging travel benefits for an investment 201
10 Letter of employment for outside agents 203
11 Preopening set-up costs 207
12 Expense sheets for small- and medium-sized offices 213
13 Invoice control sheet 238
TABLES
1 Some important phrases 20
2 Stress busters for airline travel 56
3 Nautical terms 75
4 Commission chart 127
5 International phonetic alphabet 128
6 Basic office equipment 190
Contents xvii
This in-depth handbook will tell you all there is to know about the tour guiding industry, whether you want to become an independent tour guide, work for an existing company, or set up your own tour business.


Work part time or full time

Work at home or abroad

Travel for free!

Learn from the owners of thriving travel agencies

Go where you want to go, when you want to go


Start & Run a Profitable Tour Guiding Business provides background information on the travel industry, describes what is involved in tour guiding, explains how to develop tours to your favorite destination, and outlines the planning you must do no matter where you are going. This book contains a blueprint for the entrepreneur who wants to establish a larger tour operation, and includes:


Becoming the perfect tour director

Organizing your own tour

Marketing your tour

Understanding standard industry commissions

Building your company

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