What is Wrong with the Guided Tours?
I met today in my city a group of foreign tourists led by a guide. What shocked me were their serious faces. How is that even possible?! Isn’t it the travel the most enjoyable time of the year for all of us? Why were these people not enjoying their time? Is the problem in the guide, who failed to make his customers feel amused and relaxed or in the general idea of guided tours?
In my opinion, tourism of any kind should be full of positive emotions and detente. Often, however, we don’t know what to expect from a guide and when we understand how well (or poorly) he does his/her job, it’s already too late.
According to the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, the definition for a guide is:
„A person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognized by the appropriate authority.”
The best tourist guides are much more than that. They enjoy working with people and are very communicative and patient. They have psychological skills and have a higher coefficient of social intelligence. Last but not least, a good guide is proud of his country or location this passion reflects in his work.
As a person who loves traveling, I can say that the places I visited with excellent guides are those I loved the most. During the week I spent in Athens we had a guide who was so familiar with all aspects of the history, culture and even the modern life of the city, that at the end of the tour we had a shortage of questions to ask. She answered all possible questions we might have before we even think of them.
In Egypt, our tour guide (on the photo) was so polite, helpful and patient with our group and we were all sad when we left. We felt as we leave a close friend. You will agree that such experiences are unforgettable. It would be nice to have a variety of different ways to experience excursions and tours – something new and innovative, which brings people together and creates long-term relationships.
One of the best guided tours I took recently, was the walking tour in a small group by Context Travel in London.