From time to time our badged guides hit the news, and when it happens we are very proud to share. These past weeks of July have been particularly busy, with guides featured in articles in the UK and international media, in most cases showing the fantastic ways they are reinventing themselves and the guiding business in this time of tourism recovery.
We’ve made a compilation of the news below – please do check them! We encourage you to take a look in the profiles of these guides to know more about the amazing tours they are offering!
Reinventing the tours in a socially distanced way
Amanda Whitehead is an Official Wales Tourist Guide and, as many tourist guides in the UK was prepared for a fully booked summer. However, then COVID crisis hit and the cruise ships from the US were all cancelled, she found an interesting way of investing the money she got from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. She spent it on researching and making a traditional Welsh lady costume and buying a set of transmitter and receivers so she could be able to conduct socially distanced tours.
I excitedly began researching the internet and was relieved to see from historic postcards etc. that there was quite a range of acceptable Welsh lady costumes though there were several essential items.
She documented the process of researching the costume and testing the set of transmitters in her blog, which is a very interesting read. And last week she hit the local news – click here to see the article.
Virtual Tours, the new trend
The Telegraph just publish an amazing article with a list of exciting tours offered by Blue Badge guides about the hidden corners of London. Some of the guides featured are Pepe Martinez, Katie Wignall (check her tours at Look Up London), Alex Lacey (She is the guide behind the #GlobalTeaBreak, that happens every day in her Instagram profile) and Sarah Ciacci, who is specialised in art tours and tours for kids.
Adapting to the challenges of the (not so) “new normal”
Marilyn Collis, President of the Institute of Tourist Guiding, was featured in this article in Travel Weekly explaining the role of the Institute and telling a bit about the challenges faced by the tourist guides and how we are adapting our tours to fit the new health and safety requirements.
London guide Antony Robbins is a regular heritage and culture spokesperson on the BBC. He was interviewed live on BBC Three Counties Radio about the role of the Tower of London’s Yeoman Warders, some of whom are currently facing redundancy. The interview broadened out to the state of the tourism sector more generally. And Antony used the opportunity to describe the role, work and training of Blue Badge guides across the country.
Blue Badge guides in the international news
Virtual tours by Blue Badge guides also hit the news in Brazil. Clarissa Donda, Blue Badge guide for London originally from Brazil, launched an educational project of virtual historical tours aimed at children which was featured in an article of Estadão, one of the main newspapers from São Paulo. She also appeared in screen: for the afternoon news of TV Cultura, she explained how she adjusts her storytelling to engage with young children and help them travel in time (with a quick review of one of her former clients, an enthusiastic 7-year-old girl as a bonus).
The interview can be seen below, in Portuguese (but you can turn on the subtitles in English on Youtube). Jump straight to 0:45 to watch her interview.
Check the work of these fantastic guides on the Guild website!