Did your guided tour live up to your expectations?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by irnbru, May 6, 2016.

  1. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    9,647
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ok from the recommended tour guide thread Im seriously considering becoming a guide for travel in Scotland and the islands.
    As part of my research and for those that have taken trips
    1. Why did you take it rather than go by yourself?
    2. Did you feel you got value for money?
    3. How many vehicles in the group.
    4. Were you charged per person or per vehicle?
    5.Was it enjoyable?
    6. What if anything wpuld have improved your trip?

    Any other input would be great.(y)
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Morocco 21 day tour. 2007 ..

    1. Hype, suggesting it was a trip better undertaken with an 'experienced' tour guide. This proved to be nonsense.
    2. No.. IMO .. it was expensive and , poor value for money.
    3. About 10
    4. Charged per person.
    5. I found it exhausting and rushed.. I enjoyed it better once we left the group at the end of the tour and did our own thing.
    6. More time to enjoy the sights with less driving.

    I wouldn't go on another tour unless it was somewhere like a trip to China.. as organised by members of the Silk Route Motorcaravan Network(SRMN)

    Good luck with you plan..
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. ****

    **** Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    463
    Cochem Castle in.... errrr Cochem. Crap tour guide but can visit unless you take the guide. Woman couple not speak English so we got a sheet of A4 about the areas we walked through. She was fine with French and Dutch. Felt rushed round and thrown out at the end.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,564
    Likes Received:
    11,544
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    I think there is a market opportunity but probably different to traditional MH tours in Europe or say New Zealand. For tours outside the UK part of the attraction is the tour offers a safety net and a measure of reassurance to folk who otherwise might not want to travel outside the UK.

    How many times have we read on here about people being nervous just going to France? Yet the same folk wouldn't worry at all about going to Scotland.

    The point is a Scottish tour would need to do something people couldn't easily do on their own. For example, a whisky tour with overnight parking within walking distance of distilleries would certainly attract takers. You wouldn't need to know much about whisky as the distilleries could provide the expertise at each visit.

    Other Scottish themes could be industrial, battles, Highland Clearances etc., but you would need someone on the tour who knew the subject of course!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. WillH

    WillH Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    SW Scotland
    Living in Scotland and touring extensively here I cannot see a market for guided tours as the tourism industry is so well geared up these days. Even in the most remote places there is plenty of info and a warm welcome. Add to that the fact it is only a days drive from anywhere else in the UK so a guide is hardly needed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    9,647
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Maybe so for folk who live here. What about visitors like americans and australians etc whose time might be limited. What might suit one might not suit another.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WillH

    WillH Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    SW Scotland
    Very true, not considered that but Scotland doesn't have that many roads and most of the folk I meet on my travels are going solo on their trip. We meet Germans, Dutch, Aussies, Kiwi's, French and North Americans every year.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    4,275
    Location:
    Staines
    I think the biggest benefit would be having a translator available... :whistle:
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. big map

    big map Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    13,175
    Location:
    Poole
    Good luck with your new enterprise. I think it will work, especially if you introduce visitors to secret places.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,054
    Likes Received:
    1,567
    Location:
    Leyland, Lancashire
    1. We went on a tour last summer as we were new to motorhoming and wanted all the arrangements to be made by someone else. We were nervous about going abroad on our own and thought having an experienced motorhoming guide would be a benefit. Our tour guides were terrible and all they did was check us in to the campsites each night then disappear to enjoy their dinner privately and resurfaced to check us out in the morning, we did see them one evening about 10.30pm when a group of us were sitting enjoying a drink together and they asked us to go to bed as we were too noisy and they wanted to sleep!
    2. We didn't feel it was good value for money. We just felt we had subsidised their holiday.
    3. Meant to be max of 10 but had 12 inc guides
    4. Charged per motorhome which inc 2 people. Anymore would be extra and dogs not allowed.
    5. We enjoyed it overall because the people on the tour were great. If we'd had a bunch of miserable people we probably would have ditched the tour and done our own thing.
    6. Less driving and more time to enjoy the stops. We often found we left one site mid morning, were driving all day to arrive at the next site at tea time. No time for sightseeing, just lots of roads.

    Our hosts were nice people but not friendly, sociable people. They had not grasped the concept that we were paying guests and as such needed looking after. Their customer relations were really poor.

    Another issue was in their preparation of the trip. They had a small motorhome under 3.5 tonnes and several of the routes throu the villages did not allow over 3.5 tonnes and some of the roads were very tight for the longer vehicles. We're 7.5 tonnes and 9m and a couple of the hy era on our trip were 4.5 tonnes and 9m and we all had to take long detours, one added nearly 3 hours to the driving. The holiday form we completed included make/model/height/width/tonnage but it became obvious very quickly that they had planned the trips from the uk only. some of the campsites we went to they had never visited before either so couldn't help with places to shop, visit, etc as just as new for them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Graham and Jane

    Graham and Jane Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Grangemouth
    You could be on a winner. May I suggest you do a tour then decide if its for you. Look how many people were interested when they thought you were planning "A Scottish Tour".
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    9,647
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Lol true but might be a completely different stiry doing it as a living and not freebie.

    We are doing one 2 weeks after Falkirk. :) Need to fit a party in Blackpool in first.
     
  13. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    3,887
    Location:
    Langtoft, South Lincs
    If you are seriously considering this as a commercial venture - then my suggestion would be to invest the time & money in going on a tour yourself. Or joining an existing company as a tour guide.
    From my time in customer services, I suspect the issues for you wouldn't be the tour guiding as such - but the incessant demands from your "guests" at all hours & their unreasonable expectations.
    Not everyone is so "happy go lucky" as "Funsters" :rolleyes:.

    Another suggestion;
    Rather than actually physically going on tour with your 'guests', how about developing & writing suggested itineraries which you could then sell.
    Would include suggested routing, with realistic timings. Places to visit and places to stay. Then people can take as long or as short as they like.
    Of course, they wouldn't get the being part of a gang element.

    Regards Steve
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,482
    Location:
    Surrey
    That is a good idea, I'm afraid a guided tour is my idea of hell. I like to wander on my own, without someone telling me where I need to be and when.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Movinon

    Movinon Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    UK
    Having spent years travelling all over the place on our own, we decided to do a proper tour and went to Greece last year with the Camping and Caravanning club. there were both motorhomes and caravans. It was expensive but included ferries, numerous coach and boat trips (including a full day to Albania), campsites and some group meals. The point is we have become aware that we are missing a lot driving around because of the uncertainty or impossibility of being able to park at some popular attractions, and ignorance about the value of less advertised destinations.

    It was charged per vehicle and there were 19 vehicles if I remember correctly. Whether it was expensive would be difficult to assess without a breakdown of the cost of doing it on your own, and there is the subjective element of the price in relation to one's own financial position to consider. It was £2000 for a month starting out from San Moreno, but at the end we really felt we had seen southern Greece.

    The biggest problem was the weather - the temperature hit an unseasonable 42C in September. The biggest asset was our tour leader who was really excellent, although I heard that he wasn't paid anything other than expenses.

    Some years ago we travelled for a month with another non-club group where one couple were seriously into religion. Although there were only a dozen vans in the group they formed a clique with six or seven like-minded couples and excluded everyone else. This led to considerable friction and a less than cheery finish. Likewise, on this Greek tour the larger more expensive vans started grouping together and socialising amongst themselves, and there was clearly an inference by some that they felt superior to other folk and wanted preferential treatment.

    I reckon that the best tour would comprise of no more than 8 or 10 vans and last for no more than 2 weeks.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    3,115
    Location:
    Beds
    As @DBK says, it should be something that people can't easily do themselves. Battle sites, clans, whisky, food - and your own knowledge must be good - better than guide books and with USPs that make people willing to pay for your services that many others might consider doing themselves for free.

    How about a meet and greet service at the Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, escort to MH hire company and guide customers to their ancestral homelands / food tours / Nessie hunt, staying in character camp sites or wild camping, enjoying locally produced food and offer local excisions when on site so there isn't the obligation to travel miles and miles every day.

    I've no idea how much people would pay for such a trip - bearing in mind the cost of hiring a motorhome and fuel etc. I wonder what else could be done to generate an income to supplement income from the tour work and compliment your visit - such as supporting cycle or horse tours, those on the LEJOG etc.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. rb62

    rb62 Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    5,385
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Got yourself a name already

    Sandras Secret Places

    An intimate guide to Scotland :whistle:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,579
    Likes Received:
    9,707
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Sounds like a sleazy pick up joint
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  19. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,579
    Likes Received:
    9,707
    Location:
    East Sussex
    From a marketing perspective I'm wondering if there is much demand for this service. Looking at the forums Guided Tours section, it's pretty bare.
    Are you doing any market research on the potential demand ?
    Best of luck
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  20. Mikescuba

    Mikescuba Funster

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Rhone Alps
    Not wishing to dampen your spirits I'm afraid I don't see it working. For me part of the fun of having a Motorhome is to go along at your own pace and visit what you want in your own time and if you find a nice spot to stay there as long as you like. Scotland is not that difficult to tour. Somewhere like visiting Mongolia or China would be a different story. There assistance crossing boarders and complying with different laws would be appreciated and I would be prepared to pay for the expertise and security. You could target Newbies. The other problem is if you do know of some nice spots once they have been posted on a site like this your redundant.
    Maybe I'm bias as every time I have visited Scotland its rained none stop. The last time was a scuba diving trip, we could have stayed in our wet suits for the whole week. The sun did come out on the last afternoon as we were packing up. I do hope to tour Scotland in the Autumn.
    I know of some 4X4 tours which operate in Morocco and the Pyrenees. They seem to be very aggressive in there marketing. I have never been on any of them. They seem very expensive for what they are. There main market seems to be first timers.
    Just my thoughts.
    Good luck.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
Loading...

Share This Page