I was asked and I agreed to be a coordinator for about 50 tourists to a once in a lifetime pilgrimage. The responsibility includes but not limited to making sure that all are accounted for before and after any of the trips, the behaviors and others which I’m not sure what. Please give me information such as rules, tips and preparedness that I should be doing or need to be aware of. Thanks
Count them, and when you're done with it , count them again. If you travel in a coach, make sure nobody will slip out of the back door " to get an ice cream", just after you think everybody is back in the coach. Keep the back door closed when you're counting. Make sure everybody knows when and where to meet. Give it to them in writing or let them repeat it.Give them your cell phone mumber, so that those who manage to forget the meeting point ot lose the paper, can still call you. If the group consists of people who haven't known each other before, make sure everybody feels accepted.Talk to those who seem shy, but don't force them into conversations, if they really don't want to. Manage to find the right way between giving them enough free time for those who love to go shopping, but not too much free time for those who hate shopping. Be prepared to answer any question, bring enough band aid, safety pins and aspirin -it may be you who will take one in the evening. Find out before where the toilets are, you will be asked. Do they cost anything? Have enough small change to help out. I love being a tourguide, but it can be hard work.
Thank you Christine, I said to myself how can it be hard and your tips get me thinking otherwise. I never thought about your tips so they should be really handy, really appreciated!
Hi... There are 2 main aspects to it: 1) You should be able to recognise them in the crowded place 2) they should be able to find you easily in the crowded place. 1) You should be able to recognise them in the crowded place: Please understand it is not possible to memorise every ones faces so it is best you give them a badge to wear OR hand band or cap something which makes you easily recognise them in the crowded place. 2) they should be able to find you easily in the crowded place: Carry an umbrella. Possibly a unique one with bright colours. When I had been to Singapore my tour guide was doing the same. Tell everyone in the beginning that when the umbrella is open every body has to gather under it. And when the umbrella is closed everyone has to follow it. In this case you have to hold umbrella high for everyone to see. Plus point is, even if someone is lost he can see the umbrella from the distance. It really works well. I mean in Singapore people come from different nationalities and it was the easiest way for our guide to escort us.
hopefully your tourists are no teenagers ! ;-) But elderly people are not a lot more easy anyway !
There will be teenagers but I hope with their parents in tow :) plus it will mostly be guided tours so I reckon I will be just there to account nobody gets lost when we return to the hotel or while we have touring or on our lunchtime.
Forget about the weight allowance and bring about 50 tons of patience!!!
lol, Una I think I would rather bring a whistle; they don't respond to it, they'll get left :)
Wait till you here some of the questions they will ask :->)
Organise the group in pairs according to a buddy system. You only have to count half and pass on some of your responsibilities. Announce a last (toilet) break 15 minutes for departure time. My most important tip: carry a wistle. PJ
Here are a couple: Never give them a choice. Do not ask them what kind of food they want. You will have a war on your hands. Never ask them, - do want to go here, - or do you want to go there?. YOU MAKE THE CHOICE. A good Tour Director will be able to make a dictatorship, feel like a democracy. If you are on a modern motorcoach, usually the first seat on the opposite side from the driver is considered the best seat as you have both front and side windows. Everyone will want that seat. Make sure that all will have a chance to occupy those seats. If you have 36 people for 18 days, each couple or two people will have the front seat for a day. Do the math according to your crowd versus seats. With 50 people it sounds like two coaches. 25 people per. Keep the two front seats off limits, and let everyone have a chance to occupy them. Instruct them on how to tip on the way. If you have a dinner as a group but tip is not included, instruct them ahead of time how much to tip. Always ALWAYS share any foreseen obstacles. If a group is prepared for, say, an "act of god", they will roll through the difficulty with you. If it comes as a surprise, they can and will turn on you. If the forecast is rain and you know that there will by mud or worse where you are going, let them know at dinner the night before, - tell them to wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty, and so on. If you have a good and helpful driver, encourage them to "take care of him" at the end of the trip. Insruct then on how to carry or rather not carry money openly, not to wear jewelry etc. Best time for introductions and instructions, is at the first group dinner. Make sure there is one. Also make sure there is a farewwell dinner. Since I don't know what type of tour or where you are going, and what is included, I cannot be more specific. I have years of experience in this and would be glad to get into specific, but need to know more first. Good Luck!
Erik thank you very much for your excellent recommendations, I'm getting comfortable now. I was told that this is going to be a 50-person bus. We are actually going on two buses so I was asked to lead one of the bus because we will have to go to different restos for lunch as having 100 people in one resto might not be practical. The organizers have to turn away a lot of people who signed for the tour, very popular indeed. As I said, this is going to be a "pilgrimage", if you're interested to know I can email you as I'm not in a position to mention this in an open forum. Basically all guided tours throughout so there will be guides from that country we're going to; this will be my first time to go there as well.
Please, feel free to E-Mail. The logistics have changed by your last respone....