Welcome back to Expert Village. I’m Sherry
and talking about tour directing and I would like you to meet my student Donna. Donna,
why don’t you tell them a little about yourself. Hello, I love working with people and travel.
What’s the difference between a tour guide, a travel agent and a tour director? There
is always confusion about the tour director. People will think I am a travel agent. They
will think I am a tour guide but I am a tour director. We are also called tour managers.
In Europe, they call us couriers, tour escort, adventure guide lots of different terms but
what we are not, we are not a travel agent and I am not a tour guide. As a tour director,
my job is to travel with the tour group and manage the tour group. I like to say my job
is to make sure people get everything in the brochure and more which sounds easy but there
are lots of challenges along the way that I will talk about later. A travel agent and
a lot of people are of course familiar with travel agents, they are the ones that sell
the tours. If you go in to a travel agency and you see the brochures on the wall tours
to Australia, China, Europe, South America and you pick a brochure and you say this is
the tour I want to do, the travel agent will sell you the tour. The brochure is put together
by the tour operator and that is who I work for as a tour director. I don’t sell the tours.
In fact in most cases, I’ve never been in the offices of the tour operators. My job
as the tour director is to travel with the tour groups. So if the tour starts in Los
Angeles and we are doing Australia, I meet the groups at LAX Airport and fly with them
to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and I fly back 21 days later. That is my job. The other
person you asked for, the tour guide, people think I am a tour guide. The tour guide is
the person that does the narration. As a tour director on an international tour, my job
isn’t to do the narration. My job is to manage the tour and I can manage tours anywhere in
the world because I have local guides that will do the narration. Does that help?