Creating a sense of fellowship between your religious trip attendees can help to ensure that they have an amazing tour experience from start to finish. Seeing to it that they connect with you, or each other, each step of the journey will help everyone to feel at ease and have a more enriching experience all round.
A unified group that feels comfortable around their fellow attendees will also make your life as the tour organizer or leader simpler. After all, going on a religious tour is a deeply moving experience, and the bonds people construct most certainly weigh into this. It can be the difference between seeking the connection to their faith and finding it through group travel.
In this post, we will guide you on how to engage tour attendees throughout the various stages of the trip, and create a space that will have everyone feeling connected and respected.
Tips To Connect With Religious Trip Attendees Throughout The Journey
1. Set Up A Meeting Or Social Before The Trip
An engaged group is one that advances the mission. So, getting everyone together to meet face to face, to share, and get to know one another, will help to motivate and inspire them for the upcoming religious trip.
While it is more likely that people will attend if they belong to the same church, faith, or youth group and already share some common ground, it is not to rule out others joining. They may also want to establish a relationship with the people they will be sharing their trip of a lifetime with.
At the meeting, ask each attendee to share with the group a bit about who they are. If you are not going to be the tour leader, make sure the person who will be is present. The idea of this session will be to introduce everyone and lay the foundation for the friendships going forward.
During this time, take the opportunity to discuss activities and expectations for the trip. Bring up the safety and security conversation as people will be out of their regular comfort zone, possibly with little idea of what to expect. Also, let them know if there are any specific items they need to bring on tour, and respond to any questions people may have.
2. Open Up The Communication Channels
Rather than simply sending through the necessary travel information to the participants, open up the channels of communication to build onto the story of the journey they are about to go on. What we mean by this is, you can really engage and connect with the attendees before they travel, to set the tone for the tour.
Leading up to the religious trip, regularly share useful travel tips, provide some history on the religious sites you will be visiting, introduce the group via recorded video to the local tour guides who will be meeting them at their destination, etc. Participants will begin the tour with a more vivid picture in their mind and a bit more context and information than is provided in the tour description and packing list.
Find out what everyone’s preferred method of communication is, whether email, WhatsApp, Facebook, and so on, and engage with them there. If you are using WeTravel to organize your religious tour, you can craft and automate engaging emails to send out.
3. Challenge Everyone To Participate While On Tour
Even if people are present and observe everything while on tour, it doesn’t necessarily mean they actively participate in the experience that is unfolding around them. Taking a passive stance can, unfortunately, lead to the attendees not gaining all that they could.
Of course, being actively involved in the religious trip doesn’t have to mean taking a lead in the group. Active means immersing oneself in the experience, rather than observing it.
It could be encouraging them to find a serene place to observe their inner thoughts or say their daily prayers or devotions. It could be to get to know everyone on tour by name. Or to include a bout of volunteering on the trip to serve the community they are visiting.
For each person, participation will be a different thing that shapes them personally. Encouraging them to immerse themselves in what they are feeling and experiencing can only enhance their tour.
4. Set Aside Personal Time As Well
The purpose of going on a religious trip is to grow in faith. People seek knowledge and new perspectives and want to learn more about the history surrounding their beliefs – hence the reason for going on an expertly organized religious tour.
However, this can also be a very emotional time as they expand their horizons. The best thing for you to do as the tour organizer is to set aside some personal time on the trip as well. Let the participants use this time to recharge their batteries and experience the destination through the lens of everyday life.
Attendees who feel balanced will engage better and have a more fulfilling time on their journey.
5. End With An Evening Of Appreciation
As is always the case with travel, the end of the trip always comes too soon. The thought of coming back to reality can result in attendees not making the most of the final time.
To make sure that they do, host an evening where everyone spends a bit of time together speaking about the things they have appreciated on their trip. It is a great reminder to keep hold of what has impacted them the most over the last few days or weeks away.
6. Organize A Reunion
You can use this event to reconnect the attendees or have them share their experiences with the next tour group to go out.
As a tour organizer, your main motivation is to provide an amazing religious trip experience. Connecting with the participants every step of the way will give them a truly outstanding experience they won’t forget. As news spreads, you can expect to lead more people on truly life-changing faith tours.
Need help organizing the trips? Watch the clip below to find out how WeTravel can streamline the process for you.