Training Workshops Promote the Art of Guiding
Last May 24th, Khiri Travel organized a special workshop for our guides, both veterans and new members that focused on improving their knowledge of Khiri’s programs, branding updates, case studies, shared experiences as well as a refresher course on safety and first aid skills.
Khiri Travel CEO, Richard Brouwer, opened the workshop and introduced the 70+ attendees to his background and experience in the tourism industry. Richard stressed the important role of guides to represent the face of both our clients and Khiri Travel. He also acknowledged changing business practices due to social media and the increasing client interest in responsible travel and sustainability. Our client’s travelers want to encounter local people in their daily lives as an important complement to seeing the highlights.
Following Richard’s presentation, Khiri’s product managers went through some of our more popular programs in detail by relating perceptions from a foreign visitor’s viewpoint. By regular Thai standards, some tourism highlights are judged “nothing unusual”, but in fact are highly attractive to visitors.
The morning program finished with some of the guides sharing their experiences, both good and bad, with their colleagues. There was more lively audience participation in the afternoon with a first aid refresher course.
Coming as a surprise for most of the guides, the next training session involved Khiri’s recent and important expansion in brand names and how valuable guides are in representing the Khiri Travel brand! Afterwards, there were more opportunities for sharing experiences followed by some teamwork time where the audience divided up into small groups to analyze sets of tourism case studies.
The last part was for the Customer Team. They explained the guides’ working rules and regulations, including the importance of providing feedback. In the final session, Richard Brouwer expressed his thanks to the guides for their participation. With the upcoming high season, he is looking forward to continued success where the office and guides can continue providing inspired and outstanding service to our clients.
Following the successful guide-training workshop in Bangkok, Khiri Travel Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos organized similar workshops in each of their countries, a first for our Indochina countries. Led by Khiri’s Elske de Vries, a former tour leader, these workshops were slightly different in presentation style.
Being much smaller groups with less than twenty participants each, the groups of both veteran and new guides were able to learn the material with more emphasis on interaction and roll play. The feedback from the guides indicated they felt more appreciated after the training and were happy to share their experiences.
In Vietnam, an additional day was added on the topic of sustainability. The focus was on the importance of improving operations based on Travelife guidelines such as reducing our carbon footprint to working with suppliers. The second day ended by discussing feedback from the guides and collecting suggestions for future workshops.
The workshops were very educational for everyone involved. For future sessions, Khiri Travel will create an operations manual to outline important training discussion points as well as how to cultivate an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration.