By Gina Cuerdo-Amador
DOT Accredited Tour Operator and Tour Guide
[Gina is the Coordinator of all our Guided Tours. If you are interested in any of our Guided Tours, please them here.]
1. The Tour Guide represents the tour company you bought your tour from. All Tour Operators (whether accredited with the Department of Tourism or not) are required to hire DOT-Accredited Tour Guides to handle their tours. This is to ensure professionalism, accountability and responsible touring for a wholesome and complete tour. Penalty for dis-compliance is banning from the list of marketable agencies. Also, this is proof that the tour agency is legitimate and not “fly-by-night” or a scam to get your money. (Actually, another way to prove it is to look for a street address on the website and go check it out yourself.)
2. The Tour Guide will tell you all about the place or places you will be visiting — stories of history, funny stories, jokes, facts and fiction — so you will have the most complete picture of your trip. Can you imagine going around the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation and seeing all those pineapples, yet not knowing how or why the company chose the Philippines in the first place? Or taking the Cagayan de Oro City Tour and seeing all the monuments, but not knowing their significance in Philippine history? The tour guide can provide much information not found in any history or travel books and magazines.
3. The Tour Guide will answer your questions about the destinations with precision and grace. If he/she does not know the answer outright, no worries; they will get back to you with the answer — and, if possible, another story related to the answer — before the tour ends. So ask away!
4. The Tour Guide can sometimes act as your tour coordinator. Our tours allow you to choose some of your daily activities, like where to have your meals or the order of your itinerary. All you have to do is tell your tour guide what you feel like eating/doing first, and he/she will work out your day to the best of your interests.
5. The tour guide is your GPS system. It’s okay to be adventurous once in a while and “wing it” without a local person to lead you. But when you are in a strange place that speaks a strange language, wouldn’t it be more comfortable and convenient to have one? It’s one thing to know how to get from point A to point B safely (without mishap) and securely (with your valuables intact). It’s totally different to be lost and penniless. Why risk your trip?
6. The tour guide is your timekeeper. Especially if your trip is a short one and you want to maximize your stay, the tour guide will make sure that you are able to fit all the possible destinations into the limited time. Just be sure to be good tourists and follow his/her lead. Of course, if your itinerary calls for “Own Time”, the tour guide will leave you to your own relaxation.
7. The tour guide knows where to find the best bargains. This is a true story: At the beginning of the tour, two guests wanted to do some shopping so the tour guide brought them to a department store known for its low prices. The guests had different agendas so there was no alternative except to let one guest (Guest A) go off on her own. At the check-out counter, Guest A was ahead and was paying for her purchases when she saw Guest B holding almost the same items but which were priced much, much lower. When asked where she found them, Guest B said, “I’m not really sure. I just followed (the tour guide).”
8. The tour guide knows the destination by heart. He/she is up-to-date with the latest improvements and current situations. Almost nothing will surprise him/her.. except maybe adverse weather conditions. In the rare instance an activity must be replaced due to unforeseen circumstances, the tour guide is an expert at finding a suitable exchange.
9. The tour guide is patient and slow to anger, and makes a great mediator. Another true story: The tour guide was in a spot because she was assigned to the van carrying the most diverse of delegates: some from Cagayan de Oro, some from Bacolod, one from Leyte, one from Davao and one – no less than a consultant to the Department of Tourism. But as they sped down the road heading towards the Puerto Princesa Underground River, she kept her cool under pressure, answering questions one at a time, calmly and completely. Even when the consultant fired a question unexpectedly, “Are you married?” She finished the sentence she was saying before turning to him and answering with a sweet smile, “No, sir.” Then she turned back to the previous questioner and completed her answer.
10. The Tour Guide can “make” your tour. A good tour guide will handle your tour with ease and even guarantee it’s success. A great tour guide will make your tour memorable so that you will want to come back for another tour!
The Tour Guide is an extra person to feed, house and travel with so our package tour price is higher than what you will normally find on the internet.
Then again, wouldn’t this be VALUE FOR MONEY? If you are interested in a Guided Tour, please click here.