Monday, April 18, 2011

What Makes A Good Guide?

As with everything in life a good guide is a matter of opinion and personal preference. There is some truth in the saying that you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. There is however a few guidelines that help dictate what a good guide should be:

A tour guide needs to advocate enjoyment. The main reason people go on holiday is to enjoy themselves and to relax, to see a new part of the country or world and to go back home enriched and well rested. Even though we travel for enjoyment learning something about the place you are visiting helps enforce that ‘holiday feeling’ we are all looking for.

A tour guide needs to be well organized. A lot of guides work for tour operators and thus think that they don’t have to be bothered with the small organizing details, this type of thinking can lead to catastrophe. A guide always need to ensure that he/she knows the route and the arrangements off by heart, having an alternative backup plan or two will ensure that your group is always well taken care of and that all possible scenarios are covered.

A tour guide needs relevant knowledge. This doesn’t just refer to the area they are guiding in but also about the people they are guiding. A guide needs to know what interests his group as well as any cultural/ethnic considerations that need to be addressed.

A tour guide needs to be well spoken and well dressed. A guide is the introduction to the area or country he/she is guiding in. A guide is essentially the representative of a brand and product. It is the guide’s duty to portray a polished well rounded image of his profession and his/her area of operation.

A tour guide needs to be a Jack-of-all-trades. A tour guide needs to know a little of everything, not just facts and figures. Sometimes a guide will need to be a nanny, first aider, counselor, handyman, chef, problem solver or even a cheerleader. You never know what a client will require from you, always try to assist as well as you can and always within reason.

There are many traits and guidelines to follow to be a good guide but only through trial and error will you be able to find the right formula for you.

Visit our Tourist Guide and Event Support website for more information about Tourist Guides and Tour Operators.

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