5 Tips for tour operators and Tour Leaders from Israeli Tour Guides
When arranging tours to the Holy Land there is so much to remember and to prepare in advance to make sure your clients experience a positive trip and return home satisfied, ready to give a glowing review and recommend your company to their friends.
Having constant and direct contact with tour groups, tour guides know better than anybody what makes a group tour to the Holy Land successful. We asked some of our guides what the most important things we need to know before planning an itinerary for a group tour are, and below are the some of the main points that they gave.
1. Denomination of group – in order to make sure that the sites visited are suitable it is necessary to know if your group is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other denomination. This way you can ensure that the sites they visit are suited to their religion.
2. Interests – Some groups wish to go on a pilgrimage and see mainly the religious sites, some are more interested in the modern history of Israel and others want a more adventurous experience, while some just want some R&R at the beach. Most tourists will want at least a bit of time for shopping and tasting the local cuisine. Find out what are the interests of the group in order to plan a suitable itinerary.
3. Accessibility - It is extremely important to check which sites have disabled facilities and are wheelchair friendly. Almost all hotels have a certain number of accessible rooms but it is essential to book them in advance. A lot of sites do not have wheelchair access and may have many stairs that need to be climbed. Making sure that suitable transport will be used is also an important fact not to be overlooked. Be sure to find out exactly what the status of any disabled clients is.
4. Dietary needs – many clients have particular dietary needs due to either religious medical or social needs and you want to make sure that they are taken to restaurants that meet these demands. Hotels in Israel are all Kosher and have vegetarian dishes. Nowadays the awareness of lactose intolerance and Gluten issues is much higher than in previous years both at restaurants and in hotel dining rooms.
5. Age – Knowing the ages of your group will make it much easier to choose activities and hotels that are more suitable to each particular group. If your group is made up of young singles in their 20's and 30’s you want to make sure that the hotel is in walking distance, if possible, to clubs and bars in order for them to experience the nightlife of each city they stay in. Younger people are generally open to more extreme activities like rafting on the Jordan River or scuba diving and swimming with dolphins in Eilat.
These are just 5 tips to help plan the ideal group tour to the Holy Land. Vered Hasharon constantly makes sure to have all the relevant information needed about each group in order to be certain that we are meeting all our client’s needs and giving them the best possible trip that will not only meet, but even exceed, their expectations.
Contact us to plan and arrange an ideal Holy Land tour for your group