VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Applying Effective Communication Skills/Features of communication
5. Features of effective communication in tour guiding operations:
Do you know the saying, "Communication is as much a matter of human relationships, as it is about transmitting facts"? Well, this is particularly true in tour guiding operations. How do we as tour guides know when our communication is effective? It should contain most of these key features:
- Interpersonal relationships improve. In the section on the reasons for communication in tour guiding operations, we have seen that communication aims to improve interpersonal relationships, so a feature of effective communication will be that this is visible in the tour group. We are referring to the professional relationships e between the tour guide and the tour group as a whole, between the tour guide and individuals in the group, and individual tourists among each other. It also encourages a good relationship between the tour guide and other members of his/her work team, including the tour operator, bus driver, other support staff and service providers.
- The tour is a success! This means that the tourists’ expectations are fulfilled, they leave happy and contend, and you can be sure that they will encourage others to take tours offered by your company. Your successful communication has ensured return business for the company, and this means more profit for the company and promotion in your career as a tour guide.
- Feedback received from tour members is positive and enthusiastic. Again, this will help your company a lot when marketing and advertising the tourism products you offer.
- An important feature of successful communication is a better understanding among those participating in the communication. As long as communication is open, it will always improve understanding, regardless of differences in viewpoint. Communication does not always have to be aimed at convincing someone else to change their viewpoint, but if effective, it will increase understanding for one another.
- Effective communication also improves knowledge, so make sure that your commentary actually leads to improved knowledge. Information and ideas that are communicated, help us to collect more knowledge about lots of things. In tour guiding operations the tourists learn a lot about a country and its features, while the tour guide also learns about the different types of tourists.
- Effective communication is clear. There is no ambiguity (vagueness or confusion) about what it is the person is trying to convey. The tour guide can try to make his/her communication clear by using short sentences in simple language, but still providing enough information to ensure a clear understanding of what is being said. Active listening also adds to clarity of communication, so always show that you are listening, and provide feedback to others during communication.