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OMG - he speaks fluently Danish


I would like to talk to you about a unique guiding experience from Egypt in February 2014.A family of four people - 2 adults and 2 children - had booked a roundtrip in Egypt. The main goal of the trip was to explore Egyptian culture. The 11 days trip was included visits to Aswan, Luxor and a cruise on the Nile.

The family met their guide for the trip and realised that he could speak fluent Danish. This is where the story starts. The guide - Yasser - was an authorised guide who was already fluent in German and English. When the Arab Spring came to Egypt in 2011, however, all the tourists disappeared. There was no work left for him. His first reaction was 'What should I do now?' He made an analysis and asked himself 'How can I be successful in the future (when tourists return to Egypt)? His idea was that if he would learn Danish this would create great future opportunities because all Scandinavians can understand Danish. Yasser started his self-studies because he could not afford going to classes. He studied the Danish language for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 years. He read books, listened to the Danish radio and watched many movies.

He lived in Luxor and one winter he met this Danish woman that was living there because she had some kind of skin condition. He took this opportunity to talk to her and in the meantime practice his Danish.

Yasser then got his authorisation as a Danish-speaking holiday guide.

He studied the Danish tourist and their behaviour and concluded that he needed to create a relationship with them in order to keep in touch and to prolong the holiday experience. He made a Facebook page aimed at Danish tourists. This page serves several purposes as it results in staying in contact with your guest and secondly it makes travel agencies interested in booking him as a guide. It increases his visibility as a guide.

Yasser regularly updates his Facebook page. You can see an extraction of it here. It is only in Danish but I hope you get the picture. With this approach he extends the visitor's experience. I have talked with the family and it brings back fond memories of their trip to Egypt.

Finally, this is not rocket science but it is an easy way to build a relationship with your guests and to prolong their experience.

Written by Lars Graulund Jespersen, BSc (Hons), MSc, Programme Manager for Service and Experiences, Dania Academy of Higher Education, Randers Denmark. lje@eadania.dk

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