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Successful Bible Land Tours – Do's and Do Not's
We have seen hundreds of groups come and go each year and there are some noticeable qualities that we have found in successful group leaders. Below you will find a few of our thoughts.
Do not think that you need a large number of persons. Our tours also have the option of small groups and parties joining together to realize cost savings.
Do not use this opportunity as a fundraiser. The purpose of this tour is to encourage your passengers in many areas of their own personal growth and spiritual journey (sanctification). These rewards are the goal to pursue.
Do not settle for cheap. Good to very good quality is very reasonable in comparison to other parts of the world and it is worth the difference in cost to make sure the package does not cut corners.
Do not get caught in the “Travel For Free” advertisements. All companies allow for similar group leaders benefits, but it should not be the primary motive for choosing a tour operator.
Do not expect to run a tour every year. Some group leaders represent a large congregation or ministry and can accomplish this, but we have experienced that many groups may flounder a bit in the year following a successful tour. It also may be good to change the destination and add variety to the schedule.
Promote the fruits of the Spirit, reminding passengers that it may be difficult to adjust to the new time zone, keep to a sometimes rigorous schedule and remain a blessing and an encouragement to those they are traveling with.
Choose a tour with options available. You may have scheduled a 10 day Israel tour, but you will likely be more successful in gathering a group if there are pre and post tour add-ons to choose from. This will also provide additional travel credits to the group.
Choose a company with tours available at the same time you are scheduled to travel. We have seen this often in the course of a year where the group price is based on 40 persons and there are only 15-20 persons registered. Combining groups of similar doctrine is a very good option rather than cancelling the tour completely or running the tour at a loss.
Plan an organizational meeting to see how many persons would be interested in a tentative date, schedule and price.
Encourage a pretour devotional schedule, reading list and Bible study.
Choose a tour schedule and guide specifically for the Protestant/Evangelical market. A believer guide who understands your spiritual, historical and cultural objectives adds a tremendous dimension to the quality of the tour.
Plan far enough ahead. Although we have had success with 9 months advance planning, we suggest that a tour is planned and promoted 12-18 months in advance.
Promote the tour through email, social media, print, web, and video. Be sure to include an online reservation system.
Offer the tour to friends and family of the church or group. It is important that your tour operator can offer reasonably priced airfare from anywhere as a help to build your group.
Price the tour at a competitive rate. Prices and package inclusions are easily available online and the general public is becoming more and more aware of this every day.
Choose a company that has a group air department with airline contracts and a professional team to back you up.
Choose a US Operator with the appropriate insurance, services, staff, and credentials. A foreign tour operator does not help you with the points above and has very little accountability to a US client. Refund complications, insurance coverage, claims, and unrealized package inclusions can become a nightmare to recover.