Many travel companies are completely disconnected from the local guides and chauffeurs that they hire to act as hosts for their guests. We dislike this and instead work closely to handpick our guides and chauffeurs.
Whether a chauffeur or guide is with our guest for half a day or a full month, we are all too aware that these individuals are the regular face of our company and should be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. It has always been heart-warming to see how proud and motivated our local guides and chauffeurs are in steadfastly assisting our guests throughout each Enchanting trip.
All the efforts of personally handpicking our local guides through a stringent interview process are worth it. We feel incredibly proud that we have so many well-read, intelligent guides working with us and are contributing to the success of our company.
In 2017, we conducted a survey to ask our local chauffeurs and guides their opinion on Enchanting Travels and how we could better support them. We were told that we offer freedom and flexibility and establish good, mutually respectful relationships, and are some of the best paymasters in the industry, always paying above market rates. Many of our guides told us that they appreciate our no forced shopping policy, which allows them to comfortably say no to shops who propose commission deals while still receiving a good income.
For every single Enchanting Travels trip we collect and share any guest feedback with our local guides and chauffeurs. For our guides and chauffeurs who receive exceptional feedback, we give a daily performance bonus as an extra gesture of appreciation
Enchanting Travels was the first travel company to create an annual event that recognizes and rewards our local guides and chauffeurs at a prestigious annual ceremony in a five-star hotel. These annual events initially began in North India in 2010, but we have since expanded them across many other destinations, including South India, Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar. Each event is unique and is often a multi-lingual function with several languages being represented.
Based on the number of exceptional feedbacks that tour local guides and chauffeurs receive we celebrate their commitment with a trophy, certificate and cash-reward is handed to winners at a sit-down awards ceremony.
“I love the recognition. Enchanting Travels understands the amount of work, effort and ability required to give a stellar performance and ensure that a guest’s trip goes from being ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’.” – Narenda Singh Rathore, Enchanting Travels Award Winning Guide, India
As we’ve grown, we have improved the format of our award events over the last few years and now use the events as an opportunity to offer interactive sessions, training, company and industry updates and as a way to encourage our guides and chauffeurs to voice their opinion, suggest improvements and engage with each other to offer our guests more rewarding and enriching experiences, by empowering them to share personal stories, irrespective of background.
“I was deeply touched at our first chauffeur awards ceremony at The Imperial hotel in New Delhi in 2012. We waited in an empty room for almost 15 minutes not understanding why our usually prompt chauffeurs were so late. Concerned that they might have got lost in the hotel, I went to the reception only to be told that all the chauffeurs were politely waiting outside. Dressed impeccably smartly in their white uniforms, the chauffeurs were shy to enter the high end establishment. One explained gently: ‘We have only ever dropped off guests at the hotel, but now you invite us in.’ At the same event, we were surprised to be told by our chauffeurs that Enchanting Travels is the only company that refers to chauffeurs by their name and exchanges pleasantries. We were appalled to learn that many companies simply call them ‘driver’ and issue commands.” – Sarika Chopra, Asia Trip Coordination Manager
Engaging our guides and chauffeurs has had an incredible impact on making our guests’ travel experiences more local as they now receive more personalized, often impromptu, experiences – including eating with local families, traveling off-the-beaten-path, and forming bonds that last a lifetime.
Over the years we have had the pleasure of receiving positive feedback about why they feel proud to work with us. Our award ceremonies always bring home that we are all connected through a common vision.
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