Tour Leader (Insider) - February/March 2024 Start
Branch: Japan branch
Work location: Across our destinations in Japan
Full time: 2-year contract, to be extended by mutual agreement
Reports to: Japan Field Operations Manager
Start date: Mid-February and early March 2024
**Note: Only those who are invited to complete the written application will be contacted.
In everything we do at Inside Travel Group, we strive to deliver a Quality and Friendly service with Integrity, Determination and Passion using our collective Knowledge. This is at the heart of the organisation, and the company looks for every individual to demonstrate this daily. Each member of the team is expected to exemplify the company values through their work and professional conduct. We expect everyone to set an example to those around them and to be conscious that they are representing the company when working with customers and partner organisations.
You will be part of a fun, friendly team of employees, all of whom share a passion for our destinations, a belief in our brands and a strong collective sense of values and purpose. Our work culture is supportive, creative, and dedicated, and it 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.
Our Insiders are the face of our business, being consummate in-destination hosts for our Small Group Tours and Insider Day products by acting in accordance with our values and adhering to our motto: Get beneath the surface. They are also our eyes and ears, our boots-on-the-ground, informing our product and marketing strategy by providing innovative insight into new openings, trends, and developments.
As an Insider, you’ll split your time between leading our small group tours, as well as hosting our Insider Day/Insider Evening products, preparing for and conducting unforgettable experiences for our clients on the ground.
While you’ll be expected to follow guidelines, this is at times an exceptionally fast-paced and varied role, with no two days the same. Strong Japanese ability and understanding of cultural nuances are a must to ensure that you are able to work closely with our suppliers and be the mediator between them and the clients.
You’ll have the opportunity to share your unique insight on a daily basis, engaging clients in informative discussions around Japanese history, culture, heritage and traditions, as well as sharing your experiences of modern day living in Japan.
Experiencing Japanese cuisine is a particular highlight for many of our clients, and the responsibility lies with you to ensure that they are provided with a gastronomical experience throughout their stay.
Balancing all of this for a group whilst taking care of individual needs is no easy feat - your ability to keep calm under pressure, quickly and discretely resolving issues as they arise whilst also limiting any impact on the wider group, will be a key asset to your performance in this role.
Who will you be working with?
• Clients of InsideJapan Tours
• Insider Team - sharing knowledge and experience
• Suppliers – representing the brand among hotels, restaurants, local guides, partners, etc.
• PR and Marketing - providing marketing content on the ground
• Product - sharing intel and insight of new and interesting products
• Sustainability - ensure any conflicts with our Sustainability policies are quickly escalated and addressed
• Customer Experience team - liaising to provide excellent customer support
What will we provide for you?
We provide first-rate back up from our Nagoya office, as well as comprehensive on-the-ground training. Likewise, our team of Insiders 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 Insider to acquire the hands-on skills necessary to be a great Insider.
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.
• Copy, photographs and videos for marketing purposes.
• Accurately maintained operational documents (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 (Japan Field Operations Manager)
Experience and key skills required
• In depth knowledge and lived experience of Japanese culture, heritage, traditions and values, and confident in explaining and discussing these with others.
• Strong public speaking skills, able to project voice in outdoor and/or loud environments to provide clear directives and briefings.
• Acute sense of multicultural awareness, with demonstrated experience in working with a diverse range of individuals and groups and balancing their needs accordingly.
• Demonstrable customer service skills, using initiative to inventively improve customer experience, and empathy to develop effective solutions.
• Proven experience in managing and facilitating the daily travel logistics for large groups to ensure a seamless problem-free experience.
• Confident using all applications within the MS Office Suite; able to write informative reports, accurately complete budgetary accounts, respond to emails promptly and professionally, and maintain our online guiding resources.
• Physically fit and healthy; ability to walk in excess of 10 km per day over a period of two weeks.
• Strong Japanese language skills (equivalent to JLPT N2).
• Strong English language skills, ability to communicate clearly and to a professional standard in both operational and social contexts.
What we are looking from you
• Naturally charismatic and engaging: a true people person, you enjoy widening your network and broadening your horizons, sharing knowledge and insights to take an active interest in the views of others.
• Highly presentable: you’re friendly and approachable whatever the weather, keeping a calm head under pressure to conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism at all times.
• Comfortable with responsibility: you accept that sometimes, difficult decisions in challenging environments will need to be made, and you're comfortable with owning these actions.
• Exceptionally well organised with a meticulous approach to details: research is a forte, and you set the bar high when it comes to having all the facts to hand.
• Proactive approach to wellbeing and resilience: you’ll understand when to put yourself first and will be resourceful about reaching out when required.
Beneficial skills and experience
• JLPT N2 certification
• 2+ years of tour leading experience
• Budget management responsibility
• Certification in specialist areas of knowledge related to Japan
• Specialist outdoors skillsets, such as long-distance cycling, hiking, and trekking
• Degree in travel, tourism, Japan Studies or similar
• Travel industry experience
Pay and remuneration
Contract: 2-year contract, to be extended by mutual agreement
Basic salary: From JPY3,825,892 per year depending on experience and ability. Unlike many other travel companies, the salary is consistent and irrelevant of days worked during a particular month.
Allowance and Bonuses: A 4,500yen per night subsistence payment while on tour. Bonus schemes you are eligible for are paid 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 headquartered in Bristol, UK, with offices located in Broomfield, Colorado, Brisbane, Australia, and Nagoya, Japan. The company consists of specialist travel brands InsideJapan Tours, established in 2000, and InsideAsia Tours, which specialises in travel to Asia.
The multi-award winning InsideJapan 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. With years of experience living, working, and travelling in our destination countries, our team offers unrivalled advice and support, whatever our customers’ budget or personal interests.
Our holidays give people the chance to experience both the popular and little-known aspects of Japanese and Asian culture, providing customers with an insight into the diverse character of the countries we love.
Closing date for applications: 15th December 2023 (17:00 JST).
Initial interviews to take place: from 6th November 2023, or earlier.
The above information is a public job advertisement. This is neither an offer nor a contract.
Last modified on November 23, 2023
The above information is a public job ad. This job ad is neither an offer nor a contract.
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