How do we plan our tour routes?
We have been asked on a number of occasions we plan our tour routes. First and foremost we ask our clients their ‘wish list’ for the tour. Is it pure sightseeing? Do they want a nature tour? What are their interests. With that information we plan our overall route.
Chances are day 1 we are picking them up from their incoming international flight. So day 1 we keep the mileage relatively short and easy. We use day 1 to try mix with our group, get to know them. But do not get in their face.
Day 2 they are a little refreshed. Distance can be longer that we travel. Day 2 we need observe to find out what they appear to be looking for. What things seem to interest them. Is there a leader in the group, often not the person that you arranged the trip with. Try and establish their true wish list. What gives them the buzz factor.
Day 3 they are now well rested. The personalities start to shine. Day 3 is when the group become 1 with you, the tour guide/driver. Its when no longer are you the foreign person showing them around but 1 of them. I love day 3.
Day 3 is when you get the real communication as to what they are really looking for on tour. You learn if they want an in your face guide or the laid back approach. I prefer the latter
Day 3 I have often planned a shorter distance again as its when you really star to know your guests and can indulge them more as to their wishes.
End of day 3 why they do what they do at night, I take a close look at my agenda to check it matches what they seem to seek. I look at activities that I think may interest them. So come day 4 I can discuss with them a few modifications maybe or suggestions they may just enjoy.
I want them leaving me with a buzz factor about New Zealand. They may or may not keep in contact with me. That’s up to them. But I want to feel I did my job well.
I rarely do short tours, 2 or 3 days, as I feel I don’t really get to know my people. I am just a guide fulfilling a function they require. I like going the extra step, learning my people and making sure they really get what they seek.