See yourself

Yes tour, no guide!

Empirion called it, but will the sight of tour guides leading weary groups through our cultural heritage be as commonplace in ten years time as today? Read on.

The internet provides terabytes, perhaps even yobibytes of information about all four corners of creation, making it a cinch for social media-empowered travellers to get hard historical facts, insider tips, and a maze of directions to every last nook and cranny either overlooking or bang slap in the middle of every best spot on earth. It's not just search results and social media driving next-gen smart travellers, an increasing number of high quality apps are serving high level local information which most tour guides are unaware of. This sea change is ushering in a new era of city quests and self-guided tours. Why? Because explorers are superseding tourists faster than anyone in the tourism sector ever expected, and now is the time to act.

Benefits for these new and clued up texplorers are clear, but what about tour operators grinding out a living on the ground? Guide scheduling, management of tourists new to Rome, and a reliance on multiple venue voucher systems equates to a significant amount of work and organisation at several levels. Web management and local operations are at full tilt for the best part of every day, seven days a week, all year round - not forgetting all manner of related, even unrelated parameters and permutations in between times. There is no doubt that new products which break with such capital intensive activities would be hugely beneficial.

At time of writing, the concept of self-guided tours and city quests is as under-rated as it is barely represented in the tourism sector. Meanwhile, the downturn in popularity of conventional guided walking tours, as anticipated by visionary columnist Nick Vivion for tnooz back in 2013, is moving forward apace.

Might our staple small group Vatican tours and Rome walking tours led by impossibly good guides change in some way? Nay, disappear forever? Without lifting the lid on future plans, product development is underway!

Published on November 12th, 2015
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by Cajes.

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