The Tour Leader is the make or break element for our small group tours (https://www.insidejapantours.com/japan-small-group-tours/) and we expect our tour leaders to be the best in the business. Experts on Japan, skilled at leading a group on public transport around Japan and with excellent people skills to ensure group cohesion and the best possible experience for our clients. It’s hard work but it’s also a fun job, meeting some fabulous people, experiencing the best of Japanese culture and cuisine, working with the back-up of a great team and travelling all over this amazing country.
In everything we do at InsideJapan Tours we aim to act in line with the company’s five core values: high quality, friendly, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and ethical. These are at the heart of the organization, and the company looks for every individual to demonstrate these values daily.
We are looking for people to commit to a 2-year contract and welcome those who are looking for a long-time career. This not only ensures continuity of our tours, it also enables us to invest in tour leader training and ensures the best possible experience for our clients, all of whom are invited to submit feedback to our website.
Of course, we provide first-rate back up from our own office in Nagoya as well as comprehensive on-the-ground training. Likewise, our team of tour leaders will share their tricks of the trade as well as the latest tips on restaurants and top sightseeing spots, so you will have a valuable database of knowledge upon which to draw from; and, of course, be expected to contribute to over time. We will also provide a training tour that will involve you joining another tour leader to acquire the hands-on skills necessary to be a great tour leader. There is also the opportunity to join a training course in the UK.
Our tours are between 9 and 14 nights in duration and are operated both for our own direct clients as well as for other tour operators. Group sizes are an average of 14 people. During peak seasons (spring and fall) you will likely be expected to work continuously for a number of weeks in a row before taking a break during the off-peak period.
Other duties include:
• Research work – find new places of interest and expand your knowledge base
• Providing photographs, video and blog style text for our PR
• Non-tour client work – such as showing a couple around the menu of an izakaya or taking private clients on a manga-themed tour of Tokyo
You will be paid a monthly salary and be expected to work a total of 210 days per calendar year. You will need to be flexible enough to be able to work these days as per the demands of our tours’ schedule. We believe that being the best requires preparation so included in these 210 days of required work is a “prep day” before each tour.
Pay and remuneration
Contract: 2-year contract, to be extended by mutual agreement
Basic salary: Depending on experience and ability an initial salary between 270,000 yen – 290,000 yen per month salary with the potential for this to increase to up to 500,000 yen over time. Unlike many other travel companies, the salary is consistent and irrelevant of days worked during a particular month.
Allowance and Bonuses: A 4,000 yen per night subsistence payment while on tour. Bonus payable at the end of each year based on client feedback. Tips are given at the discretion of your clients.
Additional benefits are the provision of Japanese Healthcare Insurance and visa support if needed.
Do keep in mind:
For the right person at the right time in their life, this can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling jobs out there. The people you’ll meet and the stories you’ll gather will stay with you long after the tour has finished, and without a doubt, your life can be enriched by your clients and hopefully theirs will be too, thanks to you.
However, do give serious thought to the following:
• The nature of this job will affect you and your relationships.
If you think that being away for weeks on end, coming home for a couple of days, and then heading back out on the road will not affect you and your relationships, you should reconsider. This isn’t to say that your relationships will be affected negatively, however you should consider carefully in what ways they will be affected and if you’re okay with that.
• This is not your holiday; it’s your clients’ holiday.
The unique experiences that people dream of doing one day, could very well become the norm for you, and perhaps you may even grow tired of them. However, you will need to remain enthusiastic about the things you do and places you see, even when the luster has faded for you personally.
• Sometimes you will need to be the adult in the room.
You will deal with all manner of reactions and attitudes while on tour. Sometimes this is as simple as reminding everyone to buckle their seat belts or drink more water, but other times it may be more challenging. You will encounter clients going through culture shock, discord within the group, they could possibly dislike you, and pretty much any other situation you can imagine. You are entrusted with your clients’ safety, well-being, and to an extent the success and enjoyment of their holiday, and you will need to handle these situations in a professional and customer-centered manner.
• It’s important to consider what you want, not just in the short term but in the long run.
If you’re interested in this type of job so that you can make a lot of money, you are probably the wrong industry to begin with. InsideJapan wants to compensate its’ employees fairly and in accordance with their proven abilities. However, more than financial compensation, in this position you can learn new skills and further develop current ones; the learning never ends!
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