The Perfect Tour

written July 27, 2016, by Stefan Mercier

The perfect tour. Is it possible?


My answer, in good tour guide fashion, is rather long winded like all good tour guide stories. I’ve often been asked, “has anything ever gone wrong on your tours?”.


Of course. Nothing ever goes perfectly but I compare any educational tour with students to theater. Bare with me. When you go see a play and a musical the actions is on stage but we never see behind the stage and the beehive of activity there. A tour is somewhat like that. All the craziness is behind the scenes never seen but making it happen is a team of dedicated travel enthusiasts and professionals who all work with the same sense of urgency to make your trip the best.


There are so many factors that can affect a tour and it’s just a matter of how we manage them. But to manage them without the students and teachers feeling the effects is the real secret. Whether it is a bus breakdown, traffic, weather, reservations issues and so on. It is our business to eliminate all of these possibilities way before your tour. We haven’t fully mastered weather yet or controlling the volume of vehicles on the road. That’s for a future project.


We do, however, coordinate to the last detail. Whether at the hotel, the hotel rooms and room list, which and how many floors the group will be on, making sure the chaperones are strategically placed. We also select the best motor coach companies out there with dedicated drivers who enjoy their work, but even the newest motor coach is not immune to some mechanical disorder even in the most pristine conditions.


Experience is a big factor. Dealing with these issues and making sure they are dealt with smoothly is the key to success. So when I am asked the question, my answer is yes. Many things, small and big, have gone wrong but they were all resolved smoothly and without a hitch so that they never had an adverse effect on the outcome of the tour. Focusing on the outcome of the tour made them barely memorable.


We’ve had students who’ve gotten lost but immediately recovered (we don’t have an app for that, but we do have a very efficient procedure). I have had students who needed to go to the hospital for various issues. Teachers have had to deal with disciplinary problems, tardiness and other similar issues. We have had some missed reservations for various reasons. Things happen but there are always solutions.


Being dedicated to the successful outcome of the tour is the key. For GO, dedication is a key value along with working with a sense of urgency. There’s no ‘we’ll get to it’. We do it, working as a team and finding solutions. It’s a fun and challenging job we all love. We learn from it and make it part of our collective knowledge and adapt.


The GO team is up to the challenge and we hope you will give us a try.


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