A goal for any group leader is to keep participants satisfied and engaged.
Success depends on many variables, including how a group's itinerary is developed, planned, executed, and presented.
It can be argued that even a mediocre itinerary presented with competency and enthusiasm can turn an average trip experience into a great one.
Using an independent step-on guide can be a factor in adding value to a group travel experience. Not all guides are created equal, and some travel companies commonly rely upon their staff for guiding duties. But for a group leader to be an "expert" wherever he or she goes is a lot to ask, especially if an itinerary includes multiple cities, regions, or countries.
"Tour guides are great people, who have a passion for an area where they live and who want to share it with others," said Barbara Foos, president for the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.
Foos, a longtime docent at the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver and past president of the Rocky Mountain Guides Association, says hiring a local guide can add value to your group's overall experience, but it's important to ask the right questions and get references beforehand. She believes guides should be able to accurately present local knowledge and have stage presence, good eye contact, and an outgoing personality.
Click here to read this article in its entirety in the digital edition of Groups Today magazine.
Photo courtesy of Destination DC.