Tour guide for regional contact travel: live like the locals

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In tourism, you can make good money by organizing trips tailored to the needs of the client and offering them a holiday that does not look like a vacation.

Tour Guide for Regional Contact Travel: Live Like Locals Tour Guide for Regional Contact Travel: Live Like Locals

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


See change as an opportunity!


The Zukunftsinstitut forecasts that no other market can tackle the next few years with such positive future prospects as the travel market. However, there is no other industry that will face such structural changes and shifts in demand over the medium term.

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There are reasons why travel is important to people, even if they have to save money: it just belongs to the lifestyle. While people used to measure their own status over ownership and horsepower numbers in "my house, my car, my boat" -man, they have been bragging about the frequency of their vacations and the exoticism of the destination for several years. However, for these classic tourists, the destination is almost interchangeable, much more concerned with gaining status ("We were in South Africa, and you?"), The change of scenery and the good weather guarantee. In addition, of course, the price-performance ratio must be right.

But it is also obvious that such a concept for tourism companies is not forward-looking and future-proof, since winter tourism (and to a certain extent also summer tourism) will be exposed to violent structural changes over the next ten years: if it always happens in Germany becomes warmer, fewer and fewer people will migrate to the south. Nevertheless, this corporate model will continue to be worthwhile, especially for large companies that offer package tours in large numbers and can also cope with short-term declines in sales.

Sustainable travel


However, smaller companies with special travel offerings should be prepared for a new type of tourist who in the near future will be far more involved than classical tourists: the sustainable tourist, who, when traveling, is looking for the most individual and memorable one Experience is. 25% to 40% of vacationers in the next ten to 20 years will stubbornly search the Internet for new experiences and.

And they will like to book their holidays in the communities in which they are otherwise. Holiday becomes stronger for this target group again for traveling, as we did from the 19. A curious and adventurous exploration of the world, which at the same time contains for the traveler strong aspects of self-assurance and identity formation. Traveling will become the paradigmatic discipline for fulfilling the desire for change and departure.

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Therefore, especially when traveling Sense and values ​​more and more important. Trips on which the participants can broaden their knowledge and personal horizons are in trend: Whether city trips, cultural tours or creative vacations, where you indulge extensively in a beautiful environment like painting or cooking, there has been a lot of interest in recent years: Education Traveling is in - and that is no longer just the case for the traditional educated middle class. Meditative journeys with a self-discovery character, such as yoga, meditation and monastery stays, are also in trend. In the meantime, there are also a lot of interfaces between travel and therapy, from "psychotherapy under the palm trees" to offers that promise alcohol cessation in a relaxed atmosphere.

Eco trip as a complete package


Under, for example, the lump sum organic holiday can be booked recently. In order to receive the coveted Demeter seal of approval, all journeys are designed as holistically as possible: the food must not only be organic, but also meet the Demeter standard. At German destinations, at least half of the products come from Demeter, while abroad there are fewer. As a rule, a Demeter cook, who not only cooks biodynamically, but also gives food and cooking tips to the participants, usually goes on trips. In addition, an ecologically managed company is visited on each trip. The accommodations are of course family run, limiting the groups to a maximum of 20 participants.

"Environmentally and socially responsible travel is increasingly important in society," concludes the "forum anders reisen" (far) from its economic figures. 2007: The 17 organizers of the sustainable travel association generated an average of 140 percent more sales than in the previous year. And indeed, a new global travel luxury has been developed that combines exclusivity, special nature experiences, education and eco-responsibility. Even the symbol of cheap and package tourism has long since recognized the signs of the times and endeavors to take appropriate measures to establish the island as an increasingly exclusive destination.

Why hiking in the distance, when the good is so close?


The desire for social compatibility and sustainability, however, entails even more trends: More and more people want to experience country, people and nature directly - on foot. And to find yourself. What is better than a travel trend that has gained incredible popularity in recent years: hiking?

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Television comedian Hape Kerkeling has not kicked off the traveling trend, but he's certainly the popular cultural icon for it. His book "I'm off" sold more than 2006 millions of times since its release in 3. Since its release in May 2006, it remained at the top of the "Spiegel" bestseller list - interrupted only for a short time by the Schröder memoirs - and the Pope's book "Jesus of Nazareth" until the beginning of 2008. The humorous journey into one's own self and along the Way of St. James happened to catch the wandering wave and was able to serve a bit the Germans' new yearning for spirituality and nature - and the bestseller was born.

Going on the road, venturing out, these are words that describe the desire to travel, but also refer to religious imaginary worlds. In spiritual hiking and pilgrimage, a new mass movement is emerging, which combines wellbeing with inner contemplation and being on the move at the same time. The pilgrimage is mostly done by people from middle social classes (51%). Around one-fifth are between 55 and 64 years, closely followed by the age group 15 to 24 years (17%). In third place are the age categories 25 to 34 years and 65 to 74 years with 16% each. The gender distribution is relatively balanced. 51% of pilgrims travelers are women, hence 49% men.

Pilgrims with and without religious background


The pilgrimage itself has dramatically changed in recent years from its strictly religious form: Even if the religious motif 1989 in 85% of pilgrims in the center, it is today only 40%. 13% saw Xnumx as having a religious-cultural significance in its pilgrimage, today it is more than half of the wanderers who associate religious feelings with the pilgrims, but tend to hide or relativise the genuinely Christian background. So pilgrims are becoming more and more a walking holiday with spiritual approaches.

Wanderlustige today can choose from a wide range of hiking and nature trips with more or less spiritual content: From the pilgrimage trip to Assisi on the Hermitage on time in Sinai to participation in spiritual rituals of the Hopi Indians. The EcoCamp in Patagonia, Chile, rekindles the nomadic tradition of the indigenous peoples: the focus is on daily excursions that introduce the customs, diets, etc. of the nomads. The Navajo Indians in the US offer numerous tours to special destinations, such as the 300 meter high monoliths or the former cave dwellings of the Anasazi Indians. And if you dare, you can explore the area by horse.

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But not only in the distance: more and more people are discovering their enjoyment of hiking in their home country and want to actively explore Germany: As an Allensbach survey has shown, 71% of the Germans surveyed are "very happy" (31% ) or "also like" for information from the region. This trend is exacerbated by the financial crisis and globalization: even if travel is important to many people, the goal is a bit closer to saving the wallet.

Regionally connected - sleeping in the straw


But that is not the only reason: more and more travelers are also very deliberately interested in German culture, German customs and traditions - and the German language: in the 1970 years, dialectical speech was still considered a blemish and a sign of backwardness. Today the interest in the regional language grows again, there is a certain renaissance of the dialect usage. Dialect is cultural property and it is a kind of heat flow, a liaison to like-minded people in the age of globalization. People identify less with the state than with the smaller units, the regions, and thereby perceive their own roots.

A trend that is enjoying increasing popularity in Germany and that caters to the desire of many tourists for traditional regional customs as well as sustainability: sleeping in the straw. On sites like or tourists can choose from a variety of offers throughout Germany. In general, the hay hotels are also cheaper than normal hotels, for adults such a night costs a maximum of 20 Euro.

Work instead of paying


Contact travel is also a special form of regional travel: The traveler gets in touch with locals and sleeps in typical regional accommodation and often helps with social projects or simple construction or harvest work. Food, travel and accommodation are usually self-paid or covered by the work.

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The "Holiday Club Lüneburg Heath in the Göhrde" advertises with the slogan "muscle power that creates work" for harvest holidays. From April to October people willing to work would be rewarded for helping out in the day-to-day business.

Ten euros are given to the harvesters for their work. The salary is not paid in cash, but is calculated on the room rate. 47 Euro costs a vacation house - who works four hours a day, so it is almost free.

Digging and numbers


Up to 16 participants dig under the guidance of an archaeologist through the soil at Landshut in Altbayern. Work is going on for five days from 8 to 13 PM. Included in the price: Six days accommodation with breakfast in the hotel "Wadenspanner", snacks and drinks at work, insurance, four excursions to archaeological sites, museums and beer gardens as well as a city tour through Landshut.

This type of holiday allows a new look at the lives of other people and thus expands the horizon of the traveler; he gains new impressions, which are closed to him as a package tourist. The interlacing of holidays and archeology also shows the picture above from Pompey.

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The tasks of the tour guide


The form, the duration and the intensity of the employment of travelers during such contact trips can be designed individually as a tour guide for such contact trips: In addition to the actual work assignment, you usually have to offer an attractive leisure program.

If you are looking after a group during the entire trip, you will be able to carry out organizational tasks such as room distribution in the hotel, exchange of money or the procurement of transport equipment. They also organize excursions. They act as contact persons for the travelers and accept, for example, complaints and suggestions.

You are the contact person


Your job is to make the journey as pleasant as possible for the traveler. Of course, they also assume the duties of a city guide and inform the travelers about the history, traditions and peculiarities of the place, the region or the country. But it is also possible that you travelers only at the destination.

Then you are available as a contact person and arrange, for example, excursions or carry them through. Tour guides are often confronted with unforeseen situations, such as when travel participants fall ill or transport fails. They react quickly and flexibly to the respective circumstances, take care of the participants or procure replacements for a failed bus.

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Prerequisites, education and training


In order to be able to carry out this activity, training in the field of tourism or cultural studies is usually required. Recently, there is also the degree program Leisure and Tourism Management, which is currently offered in Germany only at the FH Stralsund.

However, the term tour guide is not legally protected, so you can immediately start working as a tour guide. In addition to the ability to deal with difficult people and larger groups of travelers, the organization also requires good general education and excellent knowledge of the target area. In addition, it is essential to speak several languages.

If you want to be self-employed


As a travel agency you are self-employed. This means you only need a tax number from the tax office. A commercial application is not required. However, you must be aware that the tour guide is not a paid holiday: during a trip, tour guides are in operation from early to late.

If they accompany a tour group throughout the trip, they are available around the clock as a contact for the travelers. Tour guides often work in the open air, for example, when they guide city tours. They are exposed to rain, wind, cold or heat as well as physical efforts.

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Opportunities for the future


More and more people in Germany are also interested in regional products.

Those who manage to present their customers with regional highlights, from special food to local accommodation to a small dialect course, the trip as an unforgettable life-style experience, while not rich, but has good opportunities to earn his living.

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    It is very exciting when so-called dream jobs are questioned. Thanks for that!

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    Trends & Dream Jobs in the Future Industry Tourism - Part 4: Tour Guide for Regional Contact

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