What does your Tour Director do all day?Sue Guindon
One of the very best features of a trip with Music Travel Consultants is that we provide a professional tour director throughout the entire trip, from departure through the return to the school. Why is this so valuable? And what will that tour director do to contribute to the success of the trip? Let’s answer the question: “What does your Tour Director do all day?”
Creating and executing a trip with Music Travel Consultants requires a team approach. Our travel designers meet with the group’s music directors to determine where the group will go, what they will do there, and what features the trip will include. Next, the details are set and confirmed by the MTC Trip Development team. As travelers register for the trip online using our state of the art website, the trip passes into the hands of a member of our Operations team. The ops person is the primary contact for travelers in the months before the trip, and he or she monitors everything about the trip and keeps up with all changes. The final member of the team is the Tour Director, who meets the group at departure and remains with it until it returns home.
However, the tour director’s job begins long before she or he arrives at the school on Departure Day. When the Tour Director receives the packet of information about the trip from the Ops person, he or she takes the time to go over all the details. Confirmation calls will be made to bus companies, airlines, restaurants, hotels, clinicians, activity coordinators, and everyone else who will be providing services for the group. Questions will be asked about the details and logistics at each location. Tour Directors ensure that they have the correct number and type of tickets, meal cards or cash, and anything else that is included. Each Tour Director spends time studying routes, satellite maps, and street views for potential locations for meal and rest stops. Every Tour Director’s goal is to arrive at the school with a clear idea of what the trip entails, and as much information as possible to facilitate a great trip.
Once the group departs, the Tour Director’s work continues. If the group is flying, they facilitate check-in at the airport. Taking an overnight motor coach trip? En route, they will coordinate with coach drivers and music directors about meal and rest stops, and they monitor trip progress overnight while the group sleeps, to ensure timely arrival the next morning.
During the trip itself, the tour director’s role will vary, but they are always ready to help in any way the group needs. This could mean making a trip to the hotel on the first afternoon, while the group is enjoying a theme park, to coordinate hotel check-in for that night. It may be tracking down an instrument repair shop, or a trip to urgent care, or retrieving a lost bag from an airport. It could be re-confirming a dinner, to ensure group members with allergies or other dietary sensitivities will receive a meal that is safe and delicious. It might be making a “dry run” on the subway in NYC, to familiarize themselves with the route the group will take the next day. Each trip is different, and even if a Tour Director has not encountered a specific situation on a previous trip, they have a “toolbox” of strategies and a team in the MTC office to back them up in whatever way is needed.
The ultimate goal of the tour director is to relieve the group’s music directors and chaperones from worrying about the logistics of the trip. Tour Directors are motivated professionals who take pride in their important role in making an MTC trip a wonderful experience for all travelers. And they especially love having a part in creating lifelong memories for students.