Approximately 60% of the instruction is done outside the classroom, in structured field workshops. Because our motto is learn by doing, you will get hands on experience in the operation of actual tours and tour procedures during these field workshops. The cost of the field workshops including accommodations, transportation, admission fees, and some meals are included in the tuition.
The 15-day tour management program is divided into 2 levels. Level I, the first week will teach you about local sightseeing, receptive and incentive operations. Upon successful completion of Level I, you will be qualified as a tour guide to lead local sightseeing tours and have the skills necessary to work with incentive and receptive tour operators.
Successful completion of Level I will be a prerequisite for you to continue on to Level II, the second week which will teach you to be a tour director on a national and international scale. Upon successful completion of Level II, you will be qualified to conduct tours in your own country and international tours around the world.
The following day-by-day time schedule is approximate and may be changed slightly, depending on various conditions. For full day programs a lunch break is included. In addition to in-class training, homework projects will be assigned for both levels.
Level I (Tour Guide Certification)
Day 1 through 7
Day 1 (1:00pm – 6:30pm) Introduction/Defining Who’s Who in the Travel Industry
Student/Instructor Introductions; Course Overview; Objectives/Requirements; Tour Companies/Travel Agent; Products They Provide; Package Tours; Role Clarification/Relationships; Compensation for Services; Independent Contractor vs Employee; Suppliers; Service Providers; Destination Marketing Organizations; Tour Client Profile; Glossary of Terms; Code of Ethics.
Day 2 (10:00am – 5:30pm) Local City Sightseeing
Preparation/Principles Applied to Any Destination; Time Schedule; Points of Interests; Getting a “Mental Picture” of Routing & Landmarks; Research/ Commentary; Reference Material; Tips on Description; Painting Word Pictures; Storytelling vs Public Speaking; Being the “eyes for the people”; Tour Assignment; Information/Reconfirming Spot Time; On-Tour Operation/Conduct; Map Reading; Being the Navigator/Guide; Ambassador; Interaction with Driver; Safety; Gratuities; “Pirating”; Ethics.
Day 3 (9:00am – 5:00pm) Field Workshop
All Day Practical Application of Principles Taught in Local Sightseeing. Orientation Utilizing a Chartered Motorcoach on a City Tour.
Day 4 (10:00am – 6:30pm) People and Situational Handling
Interaction and Communication Skills; Tools for Understanding Human Behavior – Particularly on Tour; Problem Solving; Why People Go on Tours; “Satisfier/Dissatisfier” Chart; Ego State Reaction Quiz.
Day To Day Problems/ Skill Training
Problem Solving Techniques; Internal/External Factors Affecting Group Behavior; Attitude Planning; Group Communication; Typical Day to Day Problems; Listening Skills; Conflict Resolution; Relative Deprivation; Games People Play; Regimentation; Motivation; Keeping Your Cool; Creativity; Setting limits.
Day 5 (8:30am – 5:30pm) Field Workshop
Airport Check-In Procedures; Customs and Immigration.
Receptive and Incentive Tour Operations
Similarities/Differences to/from Local Sightseeing – Domestic and International Operations; Types of Functions/ Groups Handled/ Services Provided; Meet & Greet; Hospitality Desk; Dispatch and Coordinate (Shuttle Service); Dine Around/Spouse Programs; Pre and Post Convention Tours; Being a Team Player or Leader. Trip Director vs Tour Director or Guide.
Day 7 (9:00am – 8:00pm) Field Workshop
Final Exam (Oral) All Day Practical Application – Microphone; Giving Directions; Sightseeing; Commentary on City Guide Tour Aboard Chartered Motorcoach.
Level II (Tour Director Certification)
Day 8 through 14
Day 8 (10:00am – 6:30pm) Motorcoach & Intermodal Tours
A Historical Perspective or Group Touring: How Tours are Planned and Marketed; Developing “Mental Picture” of Tour; Tour Brochure and Documents; Payment for Services; Collection of Tour Supplies; Operating Instructions; Routing/ Commentary/ Storytelling; The Professional Briefing; FAQ’s; Map Reading; MCO; Typical Day on the Road; Computing Time/ Distance; Hotel Check-In/ Out.
Day 9 (10:00am – 5:30pm) International and Domestic Air Tours
Role Clarification; Setting the Mood; General/ Survival Information; Establishing Credibility. Pre-trip Duties/ Preparation; Departure Day; Passenger Check-In; Boarding Procedures; Passports/Visas/ Tickets. Duties During Flight; Jet Lag; Arrival Procedures; Customs/Immigrationl; Group Clearance; Luggage/Tipping; Working with the Local Guide; Destination Briefings/ Hotel Check-In; Reconfirming Flights; Get Acquainted Functions; A Typical Sightseeing Day; Shopping/ Commissions/ Ethics; Tour Conclusion.
Days 10 and 11 – Overnight Field Workshop
Transportation, Hotel Accommodations, Admissions and Tour Meals are Included in the Cost of Tuition.
Day 12 (9:30am – 5:30pm) Human Trafficking Awareness Training
Motorcoach & Intermodal
Review Overnight Field Workshop (Case Study)
Cruise and Rail Tours
Nature Of; Similarities/ Differences between Air Tours and Motorcoach Tours; Trend Toward Intermodal; Pre-trip Duties/ Preparation; Embarkation; Initial Briefing; Duties Aboard Ship or Train; Disembarkation.
Day 13 (10:00am – 5:30pm) Skill Training
Day-to-Day Problem Solving; Airline Delays; Drivers; Guides; Group Organizers; Hotels; Luggage Handling, Packing; Emergencies/Healthful Travel; 25 Tips on HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL TOUR; Foreign In-bound and Multi-lingual Tours; Ethical and Professional Considerations; Résumé/ Cover Letter/ Interview Techniques.
Day 14 (12:00pm – 6:30pm) International Destination Briefing Final Exam
Five-Minute Briefing on a Foreign Destination the Student has never visited.
Professional Development and Career Options
Placement Assistance; Tour Operator Lists; Interaction with ITMI After Graduation; Recurrent Training; Annual ITMI Symposium; ITMI Networks/ Newsletters.
Graduation dinner in the evening.
Individual Strategy Session
Days 15 and 16 (8:00am – 6:00pm) Individual “Follow-Up” Interview/Evaluation/Strategy Session
One-hour one-on-one consulting session with instructors to determine your immediate and long term goals, share feed-back from the course, and determine which tour operators will best meet your goals.
(To be scheduled individually on either day.)