Here at Silverblue Tours, we’ve successfully operated many tour groups over the years. We know the common challenges which crop up and we know how to handle them.
If you are thinking of organising your own group tours, here are 5 tip to make your tour a big success!
Group Tours: 5 tips from Silverblue Tours
1. MINIMUM PASSENGER NUMBERS
The price for 20 is more than the price for 40!
On group tours the price is based on both individually priced components and shared components. If the number of passengers sharing the fixed costs ie. the coach, the guides, any facility hire costs drops then the price will increase per person.
It is therefore important to make sure you know what the price will be on your worst case passenger numbers, otherwise there could be a nasty surprise if the group doesn’t reach the estimated number. You want to avoid having to ask for extra money later so always base your price on lower numbers or make it very clear that if the target numbers are not reached then there could be a supplement to pay.
2. PASSENGER NAMES
Check the spelling of all the passenger names against their passport and then do it again. Any name changes, even just one letter, can often result in hefty amendment fees from the airlines. It is also a good idea to make sure that all names are in columns for first, middle and last names to voice middle names being mistaken for double barrelled surnames!
Nominate somebody to do the head count. Nominate somebody to reconfirm arrangements for the following day with the coach driver each evening. Nominate somebody to check out local restaurants/banks/chemists. Nominate somebody to buy water each day if necessary.
Nominate somebody to call all hosts/opposition to reconfirm arrangements the night before. Nominate somebody to reconfirm breakfast times and meal arrangements with the hotel… Do not try to do all this yourself! Delegation is key to successful group tours.
Finding out the day before a tour departs that a passenger is vegetarian, allergic to fish or only eats Halal food is not only going to cause problems on the plane but also for any families hosting that particular child. It is really important to find out this information well in advance, ideally at the initial sign up stage, so that any billeting arranged can be done with families eating similar foods.
Not liking cheese or not liking vegetables is not a food intolerance so we don’t need to know about this! Never assume that the food has been prepared as requested – human error is always possible and the restaurant manager may be off on the day your group are in so please always check again before eating if one of your students has a serious allergy
5. PLAN B
Go with the flow! Weather, strike, sickness – any number of things could cause last minute, unforeseen changes to your groups tours itinerary. This is part of travelling and should be prepared for! We will of course do everything to ensure that your tour runs like clockwork but some things are out of our control!
Group Tours tips By Laura Keene