How to Organize a Group Tour Such As a Company Tour
Organizing group tour like company tour in Malaysia is easy, if the Corporate knows some good tour operators that provide full-fledged tour services. Otherwise, it could be a nightmare for the Human Resource Department to put up a good event to satisfy most employees by making the tour as perfect as possible. In Malaysia, most of the HR Department tends to do everything by themselves such as booking of hotel, chartering of tour buses, looking for a Malaysia licensed tour guides, planning for the itinerary, conducting the activities like tele-match & treasure hunt and so on. During the tour, if there is any hiccups or problems, the HR Department has to settle it immediately although they are not hired and expert of conducting tours. The HR personnel is hired to increased the productivity within the workforce, so please let the expert Tour Operator/Tour Company plan and execute the company tour.
In Malaysia, some companies and factories are very kind and organize annual company tour, but not all! For those companies that have never organize a company trip, the very important for the HR Department to start is to ask for budget from the management, so that the HR Department will know the perimeters to work within. Make the management understand that giving bonus to employees may or may not most employees happy because many would expect higher bonus all the time. However, providing a company trip can motivate employees and make them happy (after all traveling is a happy event), broaden their horizon outside the workplace, relieve their stress after working very hard the whole year for the company and foster better relationship among employees to reduce communication problems between employees!
Then, the HR Department will need to survey the interest of the employees. Brainstorm a few tourist destinations that have not been organized before. No one likes to travel to the same place again and again. It is to make sure most staffs will enroll and participate in the company trip. In Malaysia, more than 50% of the populations are perpetual or emotional. They are looking for a working environment which has a ‘home’ atmosphere. Thus, the company tour gives everyone good opportunities to foster relationship among each other.
After that, get quotations from your tour company. Do not ask rates from travel agencies that have fancy office from prime locations. They sell tour packages from different tour operators and hotels but may seldom custom make and operate tours may not have the experiences in ground handling themselves. You need to find a full-fledged tour operator that can help you plan and execute the company trip and handle all your traveling needs for such a large group.
Evaluating and selecting a suitable tour operator is not an easy task. A good and reliable tour company must be able to handle all activities and needs outside the client’s office, such as chartered bus; air or ferry ticket; hotel booking; activities like meeting, training, tele-match, team building, treasure hunt (a.k.a. event management) so that the HR Department would minimize dealing with too many tour service providers to coordinate a successful group tour. Often the HR Department will choose the nearest tour company for its convenience or the cheapest package ever offer. In group tour like company tour, experiences in handling large group of people are very important. Otherwise, the HR Department will receive all the headaches before, during and even after the company tour has been conducted.
Next, it is advisable that the HR Department to call for a pre-tour briefing for all traveling participants. Most of the time, hiccup and problems occurred due to communication problems between the HR Department and the participated employees as well as between the Client and the Tour Company. The selected tour operator shall be able to professionally present all necessary reminders and information to all participants so that hick-up and non-expectation would be minimized!
Of course, do not forget to plan, negotiate, confirm and pay early & promptly. Early confirmation will allow the tour company to secure all bookings and get even cheaper hotel or better deal for you. Sometimes the HR Department may have wrong perception that large group shall be easier to get better discounts due to large volume and most hotels will want their business, even though it is late or last-minute planning and booking. The fact is the larger the tour group, the tougher to get hotel booking, not to mention discount.
A happy group tour starts with a happy reason and should end with a happy memory. Always remember that.