Catching up with Our Guides: How Our Tour Guides Have Been Spending the Last Year (7 minute read)

The last year has been challenging for us all, but especially for those working in the travel industry. And none more so than our tour guides, who have been unable to show foreign travellers around their countries for more than year. From London to Lima and Brisbane to Beijing, everybody has been affected in some way.

We’ve been catching up with some of our amazing tour guides, to find out how they’ve been keeping busy during the pandemic. We chatted about what they’ve missed about guiding and what they think will happen with travel in the coming months.

If you’ve travelled on a Signature tour with us before then you may well recognize some of the names in this article. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our guides in the comments, we’ll be sure to pass on any messages!

Akthar is one of our tour guides in Sri Lanka
Akthar is one of our tour guides in Sri Lanka, pictured here riding the train to Nuwara Eliya

Q: What have you missed most about guiding during the pandemic?

A: I’ve missed seeing the sights that I love, such as Philae Temple in Aswan, Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Dino, Egypt

A: I miss doing what I’m good at doing, guiding friendly travellers through the many incredible sites of Morocco. I love meeting new people from all over the world and showing them my beautiful country, educating them on the hidden facts about our history and different civilizations. Travelling throughout my country with these new friends and sharing our culture brings me happiness and pride. More than that, by meeting new people from all over the world, I get to learn about their home countries and their lives as well. Guiding is my passion and main source of income and I miss it. Hicham, Morocco

A: I have really missed showing my foreign friends around China and the city where I live. Yu Chao, China

A: I’ve missed my job as a tour guide. Before the pandemic, I got to meet a lot of visitors of all ages from different cultures and countries. It made me feel like I was a Vietnamese tourism ambassador! Tu Van Dung, Vietnam

A: I have really missed everything about my job. But especially I have missed meeting new people and seeing the dazzle in my travellers’ eyes when they first see the Pyramids, or Karnak Temple. Ahmed, Egypt

Stephanie is one of our tour guides in China
Stephanie is one of our tour guides in China, pictured here at the Great Wall

Q: What have you been up to whilst unable to lead tours?

A: – I’ve been studying Chinese on YouTube, helping my family at home, and improving my English. Nyphea Khun, Cambodia

A: I supported my family with household chores, which I rarely did before. I learned that family values are as important as my job. The pandemic has been a reflective time of my life and helped me recognize what is important. Tu Van Dung, Vietnam

A: As well as guiding, I do cell phone repair, so I’ve spent a lot of the time fixing phones in order to make money whilst I can’t lead tours. Hameed, Jordan

A: I started doing some social work with children from my valley. I also took some online courses (geology and science), which I think will help me with my tourism career. Abdellatif, Morocco

A: I organized a tree planting campaign, a beach clean-up and lecture sessions by tour guides on environmental issues for World Tourism Day in September 2020. Akthar, Sri Lanka

A: I have spent more time with my family and friends. I’ve also done some travelling within my own country and have been working part time as a driver. Binh, Vietnam

Our guides at the Taj Mahal in India
We’re thinking of all our tour guides in India as the country grapples with COVID-19

Q: What do you think will happen with travel in the coming months and years?

A: People have stayed home for almost two years and when the world opens up again, everyone will want to visit their dream destinations. So, I think the next year will be good for the travel industry. Ahmed, Egypt

A: It’s safe in China now. Domestic tourism has totally recovered. After everyone gets the jab, I hope international travel will return in 2022. Let’s hope for the best! Yu Chao, China

A: Tourism in the coming months will perhaps be a bit different. There will be safety measures that people have to follow and maybe smaller groups. But I think tourism will still grow. People have been staying at home for such a long time and travel is great for peoples’ mental health, to help them release. I believe the world should be prepared for this kind of unpredictable situation, so that activities like tourism can still happen. Abdellatif, Morocco

A: Tourism will explode all over the world after the pandemic. Although budgets may be limited, being locked up for a long time will mean people need to relax their minds and travel. Huynh Tran, Vietnam

A: I think China domestic tourism will resume in a few months, but international tourism will take a little bit longer. When people all over the world are vaccinated, people who love to travel will cherish the opportunity to travel even more, we still have busier and more meaningful work waiting for us. Regina, China

A: Egypt is ready to receive tourists again. We are building more museums and hotels, with new infrastructure for the whole country. Saleeb, Egypt

Hung is one of our tour guides in Vietnam
Hung is one of our tour guides in Vietnam, pictured here with a tour group at Tra Que village

A big thank you to our tour guides for their responses. We are hopeful it won’t be long until we can start bringing travellers back to their countries. Why not browse our range of group tours around the world in order to start planning your first trip back? And please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team if you’d like to discuss a booking.

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