Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tour Guide Blows It Bigtime

A tour directors job is to keep things going in an orderly fashion. He has to make arrangements and meet deadlines.  He should know his material and make things as interesting as possible.

We just finished a Celtic Highlight tour with the guide pictured above.  I know the description of him I am about to use is not nice, but "Hitler youth" would be the words I would use to describe him.  Punctuality was all he cared about and he never hesitated to threaten leaving people behind if they were 1 minute late returning to the bus after a stop.  On our first day out, a Lebanese woman was a few minutes late coming back.  He had words with her, she smiled and got back on the bus.  He said we would rotate seats every day, but "Lebanon" (a big group on the bus) did not have to rotate and they could stay in the back.  On day two a man was late.  The same woman said, "you will give me a minute to find him" and she left the bus.  He called his company to get permission to leave them both behind.  It turned out, the man waited in the wrong spot and the woman, whose first two languages are Arabic and French, chose poor words to express what needed to be said.  From then on, it was a head butting situation.  The tour was separated into two groups-us and them and it was painful.

Except for my husband and myself, everyone was from small town USA or a country with few Arab citizens. They easily followed his lead and marginalized these bright, educated, interesting people.  It wasn't until the end of the tour, when we were saying goodbye, that most realized how wrong they had been and how poorly the tour guide handled the situation.  

Yes, our tour guide was efficient.  We got to every place we were supposed to visit.  But, I believe, a good tour guide should be more than an efficiency expert.  He should at least pretend to care about the people he is showing around.  He should at least pretend to want them to have a good time.  He should speak slow so anyone who struggles with English can comprehend.  He should heal conflict, not encourage it.

Globus was the company we used.  I plan on writing them directly with my comments but I also plan on posting on Trip Advisor and other duties.  No one should use a company that hires someone like this and I want to do my part to spread the word.

More on tour and other problems later.  But, Scotland and Ireland were great and we loved both countries.


Anonymous said...

Did you say something to his face? I would have had the balls to say something to his face over his disgusting behavior.

I probably would have asked for my money back or cancelled the tour because of this inappropriate behavior. When it is appropriate, I enjoy busting balls.


Anonymous said...

One of the reason I don't do tour vacations. You are stuck with the people on tour, for better or worse.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you had a bad guide. Not all Globus guides are that way. I just came back from a Globus German Highlights tour. Our guide was great. He was inclusive and patient.
My awful guide was on a Collette tour.

I did complain about the awful guide. I complained, in writing, with specific complaints, when we returned home. I got a letter from the company saying my complaints had been addressed with the guide. Whether that is true or not I don't know.

I have been on another Colette tour and our guide that time was very good.