If you have a visitor or visitors from overseas coming to your organization for a short period of time (eg on secondment), you may find that it will not be either polite or practical to expect them to dedicate themselves 24×7 to business.
Even if they were willing, they're going to need some relaxation time – just as we all do.
In those situations, you could just give them a local guide book and say something like ” hope you enjoy yourself this weekend ” or you could make the effort to do something a little bit more consider for them and obtain not only their good but but increased productivity and contribution as a result.
One option that has become increasingly popular over recent years is to organize luxury limousine tours for such visitors.
As a principle, this is not exactly rocket science. It involves hiring a comfortable limousine or sometimes a small coach, then picking a selection of sites you'd like to show them and letting your chauffeur plan the most effective route. In some cases, your chauffeur may also be able to supplement your ideas with a few of their own based upon expert local knowledge.
The advantages of this to your visitors are clearly huge. They will not need to waste time finding their way around town on occasion unfamiliar transport systems. They'll not only see all the key sites but also some interesting things that are perhaps less commonly covered in generic guidelines.
On top of that, if you select your limo hire company well, they should be able to get some expert and informative commentary from the chauffeur as they go around.
Now you could, of course, simply pack everyone into your own car and drive them around yourself – assuming of course that the numbers were manageable. Yet a luxury limousine or coach can make a far better impression for a whole number of reasons including:
- Visual impact and comfort
- Conveying a message to your visitors that they are valued by you and your organization
- You and perhaps other clusters can focus your time and energy onto entertaining guests rather than on trying to navigate a vehicle around what might be busy city streets etc.
If there are a number of obvious opportunities and advantages to this idea, almost inevitably someone will raise the amber light of cost as a reason to think twice.
It's very hard to answer this one in isolation.
Is hiring a luxury coach or limousine likely to cost more than simply offering to pay their fares on public transport or taxi? Yes, of course it is.
Is the cost associated with all the extra convenience and comfort justified though?
This is a tricky one to answer but in very many cases the answer must be yes.
The logic there is that relatively few commercial organizations will bring in employees from overseas unless there is an extremely good business reason for doing so. That is driven by the typically very high cost of things such as air fares and accommodation.
As such, it's probably safe to deduce that these visitors are important to your organization and their goodwill likewise. When measured against the cost of other aspects of having them stay with you, hiring a luxury limousine to do some sightseeing may be seen as a relatively trivial expense.
So, do not overlook your visitors and seconded staff during periods like weekends and public holidays. Instead, make arrangements to do something that will enable them to learn a little of your surrounding city, country, and culture.