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BK-Hunters

New Category: Local Narrated Guided Tours

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Local Narrated Guided Tours

 

We have often found local narrated guided tours offered in our travels across Canada and the US. The category is global as narrated guided tours are found almost anywhere in the world.

 

There seems to be a void for Narrated Guided tours, your input is important.

 

It will be helpful in your comment that you include suggestions for inclusions or exclusions and mostly what you envision for this category. (Trying to avoid any stumbling blocks later.)

 

Definition: A narrated guided tour is one which is on a designated route, with points of interest and could include information about the local area. The tour/s offered must be in a permanent location; such as a Capitol Building or museum. The tour/s must be informative and interesting to the general public.

 

Commercial Tours: A business whose sole purpose is to generate income by offering narrated guided tours. Example: Tunnels of Moose Jaw.

 

Should we include these? Our feeling is that both commercial and noncommercial tours should be included.

 

To avoid any confusion or misinterpretation of the expectations of the category, it will ONLY accept LOCAL NARRATED GUIDED TOURS.

 

Local, in this category, means within a town or city limits OR the general vicinity.

 

We are NOT looking for extended tours covering a large area such as cross country, or gambling tours or tours of that nature, or sale/promotional presentations or presentations that are intended to convert to a specific belief.

 

INCLUDED: Cemeteries, Churches, haunted places, museums, Capitol Buildings, Court Houses, Homes of Famous People, Parks, Historical Sites, and Local Bus tours that only last an hour or two, as well as other narrated tours not mentioned, but must be local.

 

EXCLUDED: Historic Re-enactments, and Self-Guided Tours. Also excluded are tours that are limited to cassette, headsets or other audio devices, or auto/car tours where tuning to a radio station that provides the narration. We will ONLY accept a narration by a living, breathing human being.

 

Cross Posting: It is often stated in the forums that waymarkers envision the site (Waymarking.com) as a useful resource for non-waymarkers in search of local information such as attractions and activities. In order to provide a single, comprehensive resource for waymarkers and tourists who are interested in finding local narrated tours we would prefer to allow posting of waymarks already covered by other categories. They must, however, be a narrated tour and not something to “just go for a ride”.

 

Requirements:

1. Must be a NARRATED Guided Tour by an individual who is employed by or is a volunteer at the place of the tour.

2. Describe the actual tour and what will you see along the way and include if there is a meeting place for the tour; such as Pine Ridge Cemetery.

2. Photographs must be taken by the waymarker, to include: one of the location including the business name offering the tour, a minimum of one photograph of a point of interest on the tour. If there is a sign with information about the tour, include this also. Additional photographs are always encouraged. However, DON'T try to slip in Google Street Map images, as we'll catch them and immediately decline the submission.

3. The waymarker must personally obtain GPS coordinates.

4. Include in long description if the tour is occasional or seasonal and dates when the tour is available.

5. An English translation is required.

 

A Narrated Guided Tours can be walking, bicycle, and Personal Transport: such as Segway ™. or Local Bus tours ONLY if they last an hour or two at most.

 

Example of a bus tour: Homes of Celebrities - Los Angeles, CA

 

Naming requirement: NO tilde (~) or double hyphens (--) are allowed in the title or the word ‘tour’ after the location. Abbreviations are acceptable for state or province.

 

Example: Pine Ridge Cemetery - Kamloops, British Columbia

 

Variables: (most, if not all, to be required)

 

Website of the location, including information about the tour/s.

Cost of the tour, if free 0.00

Approximate time it takes to complete the tour?

Is the tour offered year round, occasionally or seasonally? Give details in long description.

Address: Street address, town, country, postal code

 

At some point after reviewing the comments/suggestions here we will start a new thread, Local Narrated Guided Tours Revised, with a draft of how the category will be presented. At this point classifications, if needed, will be amended. HTML will be used to highlight key points.

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Sounds an interesting category!

 

What photgraphs would be required to list the Waymark?

 

A couple of links, and some facts, that may help. :)

 

http://www.britainsbestguides.org/

We offer walking tours, themed tours, visits to museums and galleries, guides for conferences and incentives, coach sight-seeing, and tours by private cars. We are the national membership organisation for Blue Badge Tourist Guides throughout Britain and between them our members speak over 30 different languages. Blue Badge Tourist Guides make a good experience great. Entertaining, reliable and professional, a Blue Badge Guide's knowledge and expertise brings your visit to life.

 

http://www.bluebadgetouristguide.co.uk/index.html

Blue Badge

 

A Blue Badge Tourist Guide is qualfied to work in a specific region or area, in this case the Heart of England with both walking and coach tours. Nowadays they are trained to not only bring history to life, but to entertain and look after their group, as well as advice on how best to spend the day.

 

Green Badge

 

A Green Badge Tourist Guide is trained to conduct a wking tour for a specific city or town. For example in this case Coventry. Both badges are a sign of a level of competence achieved by the appropriate guides. Nowadays, it is also expected that tourist guides be members of the Institute, the professional trade body in this country.

 

http://www.bluebadgetouristguide.co.uk/stratford.html

http://www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk/

 

http://www.city-sightseeing.com/

Bus tours, often have a recorded tour -via headphones for tours in areas with a lot of foriegn visitors- often have a live-person giving the commentry. (Often, worth doing the tour more than once, as different guides have their own stories. They will do their own research to add the the companies provided basic script!

Edited by Bear and Ragged
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If there is no obvious building for the business because it operates as a bus or trolley etc, is a photograph of the trolley (sign included) adequate? Similarly, posted co-ordinates would be only for the place of boarding (or disembarking)?

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If there is no obvious building for the business because it operates as a bus or trolley etc, is a photograph of the trolley (sign included) adequate? Similarly, posted co-ordinates would be only for the place of boarding (or disembarking)?

 

elyob, great point and we will amend the picture requirement to include such a situation. We have taken such a tour with no physical building, just a covered waiting area with a schedule posted there. A picture of the waiting area and the schedule, if there is one, should be required if there is no building. Thanks for your comments.

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If there is no obvious building for the business because it operates as a bus or trolley etc, is a photograph of the trolley (sign included) adequate? Similarly, posted co-ordinates would be only for the place of boarding (or disembarking)?

 

Some bus routes (thinking speciffically of here in the UK -City Sightseeing- have a fixed route, but allow you to Jump on Jump Off at various locations (the bus does stop for you to get, on/off!). This allows you to look around a building/location, and catch another bus to continue the tour... Is each stop allowed to be Waymarked, or is it all covered by one Waymark?

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Greetings, Bear and Ragged

 

We took a similar bus ride through the Plaza in Washington D.C. Our experience was it was not a narrated guided tour, though the driver did announce: your next stop will be the Washington Monument with a few brief facts. Those that wanted to visit it, disembarked and waited for the next bus.

 

Though an interesting experience and reduced walking the entire plaza, we would not consider this as a narrated guided tour. Simply because you hop on and off a bus to visit the location on your own.

 

One guide does not lead the group with a narration highlighting key points of interest throughout the entire tour. Usually there are pauses in between POIs for an explaining of what is being viewed. We would not accept this type of bus ride.

 

Another good point, and thank you for your comments. This has reminded us that we need to clarify this situation.

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The ones linked are a guided tour from the bus- either a recorded version, or at weekends/busier times of the year a guide to tell you- but you can still get on/off at verious points. The ticket covers you to travel all day.

 

http://www.city-sightseeing.com/en/tours/united-kingdom/bath.htm

http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/united-kingdom/stratford-upon-avon.htm

 

Commentary:

 

Pre-recorded English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German and Kid's Commentary. English live Guide on some departures March - October

 

ps Up for being an officer, if required! :)

Edited by Bear and Ragged
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That Bath tour is a good example for discussion. Would two waymarks, at the same co-ordinates, be allowed: City Tour and Skyline Tour? Many businesses offer similar choices for returning customers.

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That Bath tour is a good example for discussion. Would two waymarks, at the same co-ordinates, be allowed: City Tour and Skyline Tour? Many businesses offer similar choices for returning customers.

 

As there are several possible starting points, can they all be added as a diferent Waymark?

 

Or does the nameing convention solve it eg Bath City Tour, but then it may not be the start of the tour. (But then, as you can start from any point, the waymarked 'start' may not be the 'official' start... :unsure: )

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That Bath tour is a good example for discussion. Would two waymarks, at the same co-ordinates, be allowed: City Tour and Skyline Tour? Many businesses offer similar choices for returning customers.

 

As there are several possible starting points, can they all be added as a diferent Waymark?

 

Or does the nameing convention solve it eg Bath City Tour, but then it may not be the start of the tour. (But then, as you can start from any point, the waymarked 'start' may not be the 'official' start... :unsure: )

 

We took a narrated guided tour at Gettysburg NMP, where we picked up the tour guide at the Visitor Center -- there is no signage. How can we waymark that?

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Bear and Ragged, The Bath Tour as best as we can determine is "Ticket includes Hop On - Hop Off access to all routes"

 

We will NOT accept these type of tours regardless of the mode of transportation. There is an explanation in a previous comment on this thread.

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Benchmark Blasterz, "Gettysburg offers a variety of ranger guided programs and battlefield walks for park visitors" From what we read the visitors center is located at the park, is this correct?

 

If so, after picking up the brochure where did you go to start the tour? Is it the same location for all the tours offered? The start point, how close is it to the visitors center?

 

After understanding the situation, we can better answer your question.

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Benchmark Blasterz, we found the information about the tours, yes start points are at various locations. When submitting, include that brochures outlining the tours are available at the visitors center, and depending on what tour is taken the start points are at various locations.

 

Since the visitors center offers the brochures and you can ALSO purchase the tickets for the tours at the visitors center; we would accept the visitors center as the location for the waymark. Include a picture of the visitors center and perhaps even scan the brochure and also include this in the photo gallery.

 

NOTE: The above situation does NOT set a precedent for ALL visitor centers, and all submissions will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Edited by BK-Hunters
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They are global and the category is not redundant.

 

They are interesting and informative. That's what they are for, after all. But I am not sure if a Waymark of an interesting and informative guided tour is also something interesting and informative. Yes, maybe, for some people; I wouldn't want to stand in the way and spoil their fun just because of that.

 

But I do see an issue with prevalence. I found dozens of regularly scheduled guided tours just in my home town, not to mention the countless tours that are available on request. All large museums have some, often several different ones. Some companies have guided factory tours. Then the cathedral, the city hall and so on. But most of them are themed walking tours in the streets of the city (history, archeology, old architecture, modern architecture, religion, feminism, Jewish live, just to name a few), usually with a meeting point and time where you pay the fee to the guide and join the group. No office, no signage, just a spot that is easy to find. Some of the organizations that offer tours do not even have offices or fixed prices and work on a tip base. (Some of them are offered in six languages, up to 15 on request).

 

I understand the idea and I kind of liked it in the beginning, but after thinking about it for a while this faded away, I don't think that I would welcome Waymarks for all these almost random places where you see nothing except for a group of people walking away at scheduled times.

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Hello fi67, Good point.

 

However it does bring up the question about other categories and their prevalence. We know which ones they are without listings them here.

 

However, I will mention historical markers. In some areas they are common and you could waymark 100s in just one city or even some smaller towns. While I am at it; do not forget dedicated benches; you can go into a large park and do 200 to 300.

 

"where you see nothing except for a group of people walking away at scheduled times." I would hope for those in a group tour would see and enjoy the sights and POIs rather than just some random place where people gather to take a tour.

Edited by BK-Hunters
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Hello fi67, Good point.

 

However it does bring up the question about other categories and their prevalence. We know which ones they are without listings them here.

 

However, I will mention historical markers. In some areas they are common and you could waymark 100s in just one city or even some smaller towns. While I am at it; do not forget dedicated benches; you can go into a large park and do 200 to 300.

 

"where you see nothing except for a group of people walking away at scheduled times." I would hope for those in a group tour would see and enjoy the sights and POIs rather than just some random place where people gather to take a tour.

This is true, prevalence alone does not make a category good or bad. When a location has something interesting to offer then it does not really matter if there are many others in the closer area. I am personally more biased towards historical markers or listed buildings than dedicated benches or payphones, but everybody can play the game as they prefer.

 

However, prevalence in connection with another weakness can be a bigger problem. Waymarking is a location-based game; topics that do not have a distinct coordinate but cover a larger area or follow a line are always a bit tricky. We can use something like the starting point of a tour as a coordinate placeholder for the whole tour, but this weakens the value of the waymark. The tour may be interesting, the starting point is not. Even less many of them. This is not a real problem when you only think about listing them, but it is not visitor-friendly.

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fi67 "No office, no signage, just a spot that is easy to find. Some of the organizations that offer tours do not even have offices..."

 

I have been thinking about this point you made. Perhaps you can answer the one question I keep coming back to: where is the information about the tour in the first place and how do people learn about the tour/s, when and where to meet to start the tour?

 

There has to be information somewhere, or what is the point of offering a tour.

 

Please do not whitewash it with the internet.

 

NOT everyone who visits an area carries around a device that connects to the internet. Besides, it is not the most ideal situation (at least for us) while visiting an area to be always checking the internet as to whether the next place of interest offers a tour or not. What about if you can not connect to the internet?

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Local walking tour advertise in the tourist guides, have leaflets/posters in the local shops/pubs that the tourists visit, and hotels/Bed and Breakfast establishments, and have a sandwich board near to where the walk starts.

 

Advertise in the local Where to stay/accomodation guides.

 

And have a web site, and advertise on other local web sites.

 

http://www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk/

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I have learned of such tours from cruise ships (when I was too cheap to purchase an excursion): leave the dock, go two blocks south and you should see a trolley parked there.

Edited by elyob
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fi67 "No office, no signage, just a spot that is easy to find. Some of the organizations that offer tours do not even have offices..."

 

I have been thinking about this point you made. Perhaps you can answer the one question I keep coming back to: where is the information about the tour in the first place and how do people learn about the tour/s, when and where to meet to start the tour?

 

There has to be information somewhere, or what is the point of offering a tour.

 

Please do not whitewash it with the internet.

 

NOT everyone who visits an area carries around a device that connects to the internet. Besides, it is not the most ideal situation (at least for us) while visiting an area to be always checking the internet as to whether the next place of interest offers a tour or not. What about if you can not connect to the internet?

Maybe there is some information available in hostels and hotels or the tourist offices, I don't know. I have never seen anything. They really seem to rely mainly on the internet.

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