Tips for planning a tour while social distancing

Conducting visitor tours while maintaining social distancing guidelines is to become the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tour guides will have new challenges to overcome due to PPE requirements and extra h

Conducting visitor tours while maintaining social distancing guidelines is to become the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tour guides will have new challenges to overcome due to PPE requirements and extra hygiene practices in order to make sure the tour can operate safely.

As lockdown restrictions are lifted and visitor attractions open, tour guides will have to adjust the way they conduct their tours.

A ‘whisper’ tour guide system can help the tour guide to be heard through their face mask and/or face shield, without having to strain their voice, ensuring the visitors can hear every word from a distance. The tour guide is issued with a wireless transmitter and microphone. Each visitor is issued with a wireless receiver and earphone.

Tour guide and tourists with face masks on a coach

Planning the tour

-Plan the route bearing in mind it is likely to take longer to conduct the tour with the guests being spaced apart.
-Make sure the venue/site has sufficient space to accommodate your tour group.
-Are one-way routes in use and are there dedicated entry and exit points?
-Do you need to book a specific time slot to visit and are tickets required?
-When are the busiest periods so these can be avoided?
-Is there a restriction of tour group size?
-Are toilets available?
-Are there sanitising stations at entry and exit?
-What seating plan arrangements are there?
-Do you need to keep a list of guest’s names and their contact details?
-What track and trace procedures are required?
-Email guests before the event to make sure they don’t have any Coronavirus symptoms and to make sure visitors bring PPE (masks).
-How will you receive payment? This should be contactless, if possible.
-Be flexible and change tour routes where possible to avoid areas that are busy.
-If travelling by bus or train make sure there is sufficient space and seating for social distancing. Do household groups need to sit together? Will there be families with children?
-What PPE are you required to wear? Make sure you are easily identifiable to your tour group as it may be difficult for your visitors to recognise you when other people are wearing masks in the vicinity.

Before the tour

-Check the size of the group and make sure you have sufficient tour guide system receivers, earphones, anti-bacterial wipes, etc.
Tip: Individually sealed low-cost but high-quality earphones can be quickly distributed to the tour group before the tour. The visitors can then retain the earphones after the tour and take them home to reuse. This will reduce sanitising and speed up the turnaround time between tours.
-Familiarise yourself with the tour guide system and make sure it is charged ready.
-Check everybody who is present against your list to confirm there are no unregistered visitors.
-Make sure all visitors have the necessary PPE (face masks).
-Check you have any tickets that may be required.

Tour guide conducting a social distanced tour with visitors

Starting the tour

-Switch the tour guide system transmitter on and plug-in a microphone.
-Distribute the receivers to the group while trying to avoid physical contact. As you issue a receiver to each member of the group, switch it on for them, supply the earphones, and explain where the volume control is located.
Tip: To give your guests something to listen to while you are getting ready (and stop them from removing their earphones and chatting!) you can play some music, or a pre-recorded commentary to reassure guests that the devices have been sanitised in advance. This can be done by connecting a smartphone to the transmitter aux-in socket. This also gives the group confidence that the system is working. Always remember to mute your microphone when you do this, so you are not broadcasting your comments at the same time!
-Before the tour starts you should carry out a brief speech test to ensure each guest can hear you clearly. Explain the latest safety and hygiene protocols to the guests during your introduction and reassure guests that the receivers have been sanitised ready for use.

At the end of the tour

-At the end of the tour make sure all the tour guide system receivers have been returned and are switched off to preserve the battery life.
-Again, avoid physical contact - don’t shake hands!
-The tour guide system should then be sanitised, so it is ready for the next event.
Tip: Avoid spraying any liquid directly on to the tour guide system. We recommend using antibacterial wipes. Make sure to take all relevant hygiene measures and wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any risk of infection.
The transmitter and receivers should all be recharged at the end of the day.
-Review how the tour went to make adjustments as necessary and identify if there can be any improvements made.
-Keep up to date to ensure the tour adheres to the latest government/industry guidance.

The above information is for guidance only and is based on the limited information available when written. Please use the latest guidance when planning a tour.

A tour guide system is wireless short-range radio system to assist live communication between people. Tourtalk tour guide systems are used when it is difficult for visitors to hear a tour guide, due to noisy surroundings or over distance. It helps keep the visitors informed and reduces strain on the tour guide’s voice.

The tour guide speaks into a microphone connected to a transmitter.

The visitors hear the tour guide’s voice via an earphone connected to a receiver. They can adjust their personal volume to a comfortable level.

There are two types of tour guide system-

A one-way tour guide system is used to enable the tour guide(s) to speak to the tour group only.

Tour guide and visitors using a one-way tour guide system with face masksA two-way tour guide system also enables a member of the tour group to speak back to the tour guide (and the rest of the group), when the tour guide permits. A two-way system is ideal for interviews with local experts during a tour or for any questions from the tour group.

Tour guide and visitors using a two-way tour guide system with face masksFor more information on tour guide systems please contact us.

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Tourtalk TT 40 tour guide system

Tourtalk TT 100 tour guide system

Tourtalk TT 200 tour guide system

Tourtalk TT 300 tour guide system