Guide Training: Interview with Anna

Our Team & guide training

WHY USE A TOUR GUIDE?

why use a tour guide

Put simply, having (the right) tour guide by your side during your trip can enhance your experience when traveling.

A great guide can completely transform a trip, making a destination come alive with historical anecdotes, specialized visits and insider access.

Let’s face it, most of us love to simply “get out and explore” but by doing this, do we really leave with an understanding and sense of place? Yes, to an extent. But what may be missing is the understanding of what a place means for a local. You may not have interacted with a local at all during a vacation. Using a tour guide would likely have enhanced your experience.

This is the reason we train our own guides & local experts wherever possible as we then have full control over the knowledge we have about each individual super person we work with! We know their strengths, what they enjoy and which areas they excel at when guiding. In short, we can place the perfect guide with the perfect tour and guests…

Take a look at our interview with Anna, one of our amazing tour guides and local experts.

OUR WORKSHOPS & MORE ABOUT ANNA

Step-On tour guide

Our parent company, Experience North Ltd, is offering fluent German speakers, passionate about travel, the opportunity to undertake workshops leading to paid work in the tourism industry in both North West and North East England.

We last ran our workshops in 2018 (Newcastle) and 2020/21 (Liverpool) providing more German-speaking tour guides to support the increase in German cruise ships as well as small groups to the region. Anna Unger (find out more about Anna on the Our Team page) was one of them.

Anna has now lived in the UK for 12 years, a former tour guide in Munich, Anna is from Lake Constance in southern Germany. On arrival in the UK, Anna booked a private tour with one of the only German-speaking guides in North East England. Alex Jacobs had just completed his Blue Badge Guide Training course and was setting up Northern Secrets Ltd at the time.

Now working alongside Paul Mullins as Experience North Ltd, in both the North West (also as part of Liverpool Tour Company) and North East as well as Scotland, Alex is looking to recruit more German-speaking guides & tour managers, just like Anna.

Our Team & guide training

Why did the course appeal to you?

I’d worked as a guide in Germany and knew it was something I enjoyed, but it wasn’t easy to find a way into the industry in the UK. Training to be a Blue Badge Guide is quite expensive and there wasn’t going to be a course imminently, so I was very interested in training to work with cruise tourists when I heard about the Experience North Ltd series of guide training workshops.

What did the guide training course cover?

Everything you could need to know in terms of the basics was covered. There is essential theory, but it is also very practical. It really is learning on the job. The workshop has equipped me with the knowledge and tools to guide cruise passengers to many attractions and destinations. It is great as a refresher course for anyone who has guided in the past but also as an entry point into the tourism industry and guiding. A great way of testing out whether guiding is for you, before embarking on a course that requires much more personal investment, in terms of both time and money.

What did you expect to happen afterwards?

Alex was very honest about the expectations of work following the course. I was looking for flexible work that I could fit around my other commitments and I’ve been able to work approximately 100 days during my first year guiding for German tourists.

What kind of work have you undertaken?

Much of the work has been day trips for cruise passengers arriving at the Port of Tyne as well as mini-cruise groups of German guests arriving by DFDS ferry. Most of these trips go to Newcastle and Durham, but some have also taken me to Alnwick and Hadrian’s Wall. I’ve also hosted the guided Vera Tour, a partnership with Brit Movie Tours and Experience North Ltd, which take in more than 10 locations in North East England that feature in episodes of the iconic TV crime drama series.

What has been your favourite experience guiding in North East England?

The Prosecco picnic that a 60th birthday party enjoyed on one of the Vera tours I hosted is a favourite. The whole coach thoroughly enjoyed themselves celebrating and singing alongside the party who came fully prepared in their own t-shirts, hats and food with fizz. Locals discovered so much about their own area, and overseas tourists certainly experienced the infamous northeast welcome.

What benefit has the guide training course been to you?

Guiding is so much fun, it’s different every day and enables me to meet lots of new different people. As well as providing me with the opportunity to work flexibly in an industry and location that I love, it has also given me enough experience, confidence, skills and knowledge to go ahead and train as a Blue Badge Guide (this should be, hopefully successfully, concluded by mid 2021) . There is always a shortage of guides with additional language skills so I’d whole-heartedly encourage anyone who can speak fluent German and loves to talk to people and travel to think about taking advantage of these training opportunities.

Courses will run in Scotland and Liverpool in March 2020.

For more information about our workshops & training courses, please contact Paul Mullins on paul@experiencenorthdmc.com or call 0151 334 84 29.

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