E-tourism. How To Travel in Switzerland With A Distant Guide
Development of digital technologies opens new opportunities and creates new jobs. Andrey works as a distant tour guide with those who want to travel in Switzerland. He told to SUISSEPIC how he manages being online 24/7 arranging tours and routes.
Andrey works in travel industry since 1997 as a professional guide and travel groups’ leader. Being interested in history, architecture, outdoor activities, skiing and the Alps he learned about Switzerland from A to Z. Now he transfers his knowledge creating interesting routes for those who wish to open alpine world.
Andrey is present on Internet. Information about him can be found at numerous websites, so tourists often start planning their travels contacting him by mail, messengers or on social media.
“We get in touch. I ask how they imagine their tour, what they want to see. My goal is to learn about my clients as much as I can. Some of them love nature, others prefer art, cities, etc. Switzerland offers all of that, so I have to tell them maximum about the opportunities. Normally their target is to see everything during a week period.”
Photo: Andrey Tarasov
How To Get A Distant Guide
They start planning from selecting flights, accommodation and transport. It is possible to choose everything you want: hostels, private apartments, hotels and chalets.
“Budget is important so we compare a lot of different variants before taking a final decision. I am a specialist in how to reduce travel budget. Professional personal guide in Switzerland will be much more expensive. As for me, I will cost like a good big travel guide book”
Andrey is based in the center of Russia, Ural city of Ufa. Working with tourists from various Russian regions he deals with time zones, and finds it quite comfortable for the process of planning a tour agenda online.
“I am online every day. I start working when you happily sleep in Geneva or Bern. Time difference between Ufa and Switzerland is 4 hours. When you wake up I have already planned your agenda”, Andrey says.
By the way he recommends staying in one Swiss city and move around. He even calls this type of tourism as a “travel web”.
“You stay in the center of your spider web having travel routes as flexible rings and spokes of this web. Why flexible? Swiss weather may change fast so we have to be able to adjust to climate conditions. I have a lot of rotes in stock, so I can easily adapt to your current situation and send them to your smartphones and laptops. For example, you go from Bern to Grindelwald and I have already dropped you information and pictures of trails, booked a table for your lunch or dinner”.
Photo: Andrey Tarasov
Having a guide in your pocket is quite convenient, isn’t it? Just imagine: you are at the boat crossing the lake. Mountains are around. You are relaxed and clam and suddenly decide to spend the rest of the day enjoying sunset at a good restaurant. All you have to do is to open your WhatsApp or Viber and contact your pocket travel agent.
Digital world opened new ways for development of individual tourism. IT communications reduced travel costs. For example the price for 8 days of Andrey’s travel support is CHF 150. Personal guide in Geneva will cost you CHF 150-180 for 3 hours of walk in city.
However you have to be really careful while choosing your guide.