Branch: Japan branch
Work location: Across our destinations in Japan (successful candidate must be Tokyo-based)
Full time: 2-year contract, to be extended by mutual agreement
Reports to: Tour Leader Team Leader
Start date: 16 February 2020
**Note: Only those who are invited to complete the written application will be contacted.
In everything we do at InsideAsia Tours we aim to act in line with the company’s five core values: Trustworthy, Knowledgeable, Ethical, High Quality, Friendly. These are at the heart of the organization, and the company looks for every individual to demonstrate these values daily.
The purpose of the tour leader role is to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience on the tours that you lead. Our Tour Leaders are also our representatives on the ground and are vital in keeping good relationships with our suppliers and projecting a positive image of the company in line with our values.
Our Tour Leaders are what make our Small Group Tours truly special. Each InsideJapan Tour Leader lives in Japan, speaks excellent Japanese and English and is passionate about sharing their knowledge and love of the country. They are there to make sure that clients get the absolute most out of their Japan holiday, providing personal insights into Japanese culture and society and making sure that the trip runs successfully even when faced with challenges.
In addition to leading Small Group Tours, you will also be asked to take on ‘Insider Days,’ which are themed day or night tours for our clients on tailor-made holidays. They can be as varied as izakaya evenings to manga-themed adventures, and you could be asked to lead the entire range of these products.
You may also be called upon to assist with special projects, events and company initiatives. Once you gain confidence and demonstrate skill in your role, there could be the opportunity to do private guiding.
You will be expected to contribute to the company’s marketing efforts by providing blog pieces, material for social media updates and images. As our eyes and ears on the ground, we may also ask you to under-take research or carry out health and safety tasks. We are also keen to make use of any special skills or knowledge you bring.
You will need to be a confident person but also a good listener and have empathy with your clients. At times you will need to make some difficult decisions, and be prepared to take responsibility for those consequences, as you look after any problems that occur on tour.
Who will you be working with?
• Clients of InsideJapan Tours
• Clients and staff from our other tour operators we work for
• Management and staff across all our offices and multiple departments
• Suppliers (hotels, restaurants, guides, experiences, etc.)
What will we provide for you?
We provide first-rate back up from our Nagoya and Tokyo offices, as well as comprehensive on-the-ground training. Likewise, our team of Tour Leaders will share their experience and advice, whether it’s the practical aspect of tour leading or the latest tips on restaurants and sightseeing spots, so you will have a valuable database of knowledge upon which to build upon. We 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.
What are we looking for from you?
We are looking for people to commit to a 2-year contract and welcome those who are looking for a longtime 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.
We are looking for individuals who can be flexible enough to work 210 days per calendar year in conjunction with the demands of our tours and tailor-made clients’ schedules. This will require working consecutive evenings, on weekends, national holidays and perhaps even Christmas and over the New Year period. You may also be called upon to assist and support your colleagues in last-minute and urgent situations.
We also want you to be realistic about this role and come into it with your eyes open. This is not your holiday, and your role is to make sure that your clients enjoy theirs in a safe, enjoyable, smooth and memorable fashion. You will be spending a lot of time on the road and during peak season you could be asked to do back-to-back tours with minimal breaks in-between. It is a rewarding job, but a big commitment and hard work, and you should consider the impact this will have on your personal life.
• Tour reports and accounts submitted in an accurate and timely manner
• Recce for tours with accompanying material for our PR, Marketing, and other departments
• PR & marketing contributions such as updates of interest on the ground in Japan, blog pieces, photographs and videos
• Document updating and contribution (trip notes, fact sheets, restaurant and bar guide, activity resources on tour and more)
• Contributions to other non-tour projects
Main tasks and responsibilities
• Lead small group tours around Japan with an exceptional level of customer service
• Delivering ‘Insider Days’ (full-day, half-day and evening tours for clients on tailor-made holidays) with an exceptional level of customer service
• Once you gain confidence and demonstrate skill in your role, there could be opportunities to work with VIP clients and on privately escorted holidays
• Looking after clients’ health and safety through regular briefings and in practice on the ground and dealing with hazards and incidents in the appropriate manner
• Looking after clients’ dietary requirements
• Building and maintaining positive relationships with suppliers and partners
• Thorough preparation for tours
• Cultural talks, explanations, sharing of insights and experiences proactively with clients in creative and fun ways
• Balancing tour activities with led time and free time
• Effective time management and punctuality
• Logical decision-making and planning
• Communication with line manager and other offices in a professional and timely manner
• Commitment to ongoing, self-motivated personal development, by expanding your knowledge base, finding new places of interest, and development of new skills
• Resolving complaints and difficult situations that arise on the ground in a client-centered and professional manner
• Regular meetings with your line manager (Tour Leader Team Leader)
Experience and key skills required
• Strong decision-making skills, the ability to think on your feet, a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences of your decisions
• Customer service and/or travel industry experience
• Public speaking skills (ability to give clear directives and briefings)
• Excellent organizational skills
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills
• Demonstrated experience working with a diverse range of individuals and groups
• The ability to multi-task and balance the needs of the group while paying attention to individual customer needs
• Strong Japanese and excellent English language ability
• Possess a healthy sense of humour
• The ability to remain calm in high-pressure and tense situations
• Be physically fit and healthy: able to walk long distances (over 5-miles per day), stand for extended periods of time, and able to withstand long working hours, often in physically and mentally challenging conditions
• First-hand knowledge of Japan
• Flexibility and adaptability in order to meet the needs of clients and the company
• Professional yet friendly and open manner
• Cooperative, team-player who understands the value and necessity of teamwork
• Commitment to self-driven, personal growth
• Specialist knowledge of an aspect of Japanese geography, history, society, culture, food, etc.
• You will need to be a confident person but also a good listener and have empathy with your group members (strong emotional intelligence)
Pay and remuneration
Contract: 2-year contract, to be extended by mutual agreement
Basic salary: Depending on experience and ability an initial salary between 270,000yen – 290,000yen per month salary. Unlike many other travel companies, the salary is consistent and irrelevant of days worked during a particular month.
Allowance and Bonuses: A 4,000yen per night subsistence payment while on tour. Bonus you are eligible for payable at the end of each year. Tips are given at the discretion of your clients.
Additional benefits are the provision of Japanese Health care insurance and visa support if needed.
About Inside Travel Group
Inside Travel Group (ITG) is a specialist tour operator whose head office is in Bristol, UK, with sales branches located in Boulder, Colorado and Brisbane, Australia, and an operations branch based in Nagoya, Japan with a satellite office in Tokyo. The company consists of specialist travel brands, InsideJapan Tours which was established in 2000 and InsideAsia Tours which specialises in travel to Asia.
The multi-award winning InsideJapan brand is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent providers of travel to Japan. The company offers unique group tours, tailored travel, and cultural experiences that few get the chance to discover.
Our team have had years of experience living, working and travelling in destination countries, and we offer unrivalled advice and support, whatever the customer budget or personal interests. Our holidays grant people the chance to experience both the popular and little-known aspects of Japan, Burma, and Vietnam culture, giving customers an insight into the diverse character of the relevant country.
You will be working for a vibrant organization with a great team of employees all with a passion for the destinations, a belief in the brands and a strong sense of collective values and purpose. Our work culture is supportive, creative and dedicated and is at its best when we all try to lead by example; the more you put in, the more you and the team get out, and it will be important that you play your part.
Closing date for applications: 20th November 2019 (18:00 JST).
Initial interviews to take place: from 25th November 2019, or earlier.
The above information is a public job advertisement. This is neither an offer nor a contract.
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