Select Traveler

JAN-FEB 2017

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Page 11 of 51

12 J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 local knowledge matters T R A V E L T O O L B O X W hen you take your group to explore a new city, you want the very best local experts to show you around, make you feel welcome and give you insider access to the destination's highlights. Often that means fi nding a local guide who has an intimate knowledge of the area, is an ex- pert at managing group dynamics and has the personal charisma to turn history, facts and fi gures into an engaging experience. In many ways, the expertise and per- sonality of a local guide can be the decid- ing factor in whether your group has a memorable or a forgettable visit to a city. Some of the most popular destinations on earth have hundreds — or even thousands — of people working as tour guides, so fi nding the right person is an important step in ensuring that your travelers have a great time. If you are booking trips through a tour operator, that company is going to take care of lining up local guides in the places you visit. But if you're arranging the trip on your own, here are fi ve things to keep in mind as you search for the best guide for your group. In many places around the world, tourism jobs are in high demand, and working as a guide is one of the most lucrative and enjoyable positions available for locals. Guides and other tourism professionals in these places have a vested interest in making sure that people leading tours are trained and knowledgeable, so many have lobbied their local or national governments to put strict licens- ing rules in place that prohibit noncredentialed people from leading city tours. If you are looking for a local guide for a specifi c destina- tion, check to see what legal restrictions apply to the profession, and make sure the guide you choose is properly licensed. B Y B R I A N J E W E L L L I C E N S E

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