11/19(Tue) Free walking tour (Host: Amy)

YOYO member
文章: 6
註冊時間: 週一 7月 13, 2015 1:47 pm

11/19(Tue) Free walking tour (Host: Amy)


It’s my pleasure to be the host on November 19th.
This year is about to end. Did you take any vacation this year? What type of travel would you like? Have you heard about “free walking tour?” If so, please share what you know about it with us. If not, welcome to learn the new popular way to visit city or just share your travel experiences.


About Free Tours
Free Tour concept
The Free Tour concept has been around for quite a while but is a relatively new way to discover cities compared to the traditional tour concept, which of course has a much longer legacy. Many of today's younger travellers will likely be aware of, if not familiar with, free walking tours as they’ve become increasingly popular and ever-present in key destinations, and indeed beyond in recent years.

A Misconception about Free Tours
The word ‘free’ has obvious appeal to budget-conscious travellers but it’s also a word that can ring alarm bells; especially in relation to something that traditionally carries with it a relatively substantial cost and makes up a significant part of a particular industry, such as guided tours. But free doesn't mean worthless when it comes to free tours. Quite the contrary. It is by no means the reserve of a strapped backpacker or miserly tourist. It's a concept which actually can be obliged to deliver more than the traditional paid tour and something which can be truly valuable, worthwhile, and rewarding to all types of travellers.

How does it work?
One question we are asked regularly is “how can the tours be free?”. The tours are 'free', because unlike regular tour providers' services, there is no set price for taking a tour, no prescribed fee to pay regardless of the tour experience itself. Instead, you are free to 'tip' your guide as you see fit after your tour.

This is perhaps a 'strange' idea to get used to initially, but there are a number of reasons why this style of touring has taken off as a valid, popular way of discovering cities. As the tour guides don't receive any other income for giving these tours (from any organizations or local bodies), this means they must really earn their tips. As their income will tend to fluctuate from tour to tour, the guides’ motivation to deliver a top-quality tour is ever-present, meaning far less room for complacency on their part than if they were being paid a set amount for a guided tour. The tour itself must be great for the concept to work.

Tipping: something to consider when taking a Free Tour
Furthermore, tipping your guide at the end of the tour means the power is yours. Although not obligatory, you decide what the tour was worth or what you can afford, if anything. The value-for-money ratio is determined by you so there is no risk of being 'ripped-off' or feeling like you didn't get your money's worth.

Tip for tips: If you do decide to tip, make sure to bring your maximum tip budget in smaller denominations. This way you can give your guide the perfect amount they deserve as determined by yourself (after the tour of course) without the hassle of having too little if you think they deserved more or offering a large bill only to ask for change back.

Behind the Free Tour
The risk factor is burdened by the tour guides as they are reliant on tour participants to actually tip them despite there being no obligation to tip at all. Thankfully, the ever-increasing popularity of free tours and increasing number of free tour providers around the world is testament to the fact that this 'non-conventional' style of city-tours works; that people do see the value in the concept and the unique benefits it offers, receive great quality tour experiences, and are tipping their guides accordingly while saving a very significant amount of their money compared to paid tour equivalents.

In the vast majority of cases, the tour guides who offer free tours are independent, freelance tour guides. They usually tend to be young people attracted by the fact that free tours allow them to be self-employed with a lot of flexibility for working and the guides get to keep their tips as opposed to being paid a fee to earn a decent income for their efforts. Furthermore, these local freelance guides get to inject their own personality into their tours to really give you their local perspective, show you their city, and give you their best tour. The experience tends to be coloured by the guide themselves rather than just relying on a standardized 'tour' or 'script'. This makes for a more authentic, passionate, and rewarding impression of a place and people, history, and culture. Some Free Tours are set-up and run by collectives of local guides in a particular city. Alternatively, others are facilitated by free tour organizations who actively promote and provide assistance to local freelance guides. This is done via effective advertising services across a multitude of channels and partnerships with local accommodation partners in return for a relatively small marketing fee while also ensuring the consistent high quality of the guides and the tours they offer.

Why Free Tours work
All in all the free tour concept is a win-win scenario for both the traveller and local guide. Making authentic local tour experiences accessible to all regardless of budget, free tours are an exciting alternative way to discover cities, save a lot of money, and remain in control of what you spend on a city-tour while supporting passionate local guides and ventures. It's a fantastic thing and we, at FreeTour.com, are flying the flag for the Free Tour concept. Being the first site of its kind on the planet, we make finding top-quality free tours and local guides easier than ever before. With the best Free Tours in cities across 50+ countries worldwide (with more added daily), we provide a one-stop shop with up-to-date, genuine user reviews and ratings as well as reviews powered by TripAdvisor. FreeTour.com is the place to help you make the most of your next city trip with our informative blogs, insider hints, tips, and recommendations. So jump in, you won't regret it!

Session I:

1. Have you heard or joined any free walking tour? What type of traveling do you prefer and why?
2. What’s the main purpose of travelling to you - relaxing, visiting churches and museums, seeing sights, or enjoying delicious food?
3. Would you please share one special travel experience with us? What did you learn from it?
4. Please recommend one country or city that you’ve been to for visiting and tell us why?

Session II:

1. Recently, residents of some most visited cities like Venice, Barcelona, and Kyoto protested against overtourism. Is tourism harmful or beneficial to local communities?
2. Some local people in Venice seem to not welcome tourists. Do you think it’s safe to travel there?
3. Taiwan now also have many tourists from other countries. Do you like this situation? What are the pros and cons?
4. How have travel experiences changed you?

6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
7:50 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:25pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:25 ~ 9:05pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
9:05 ~ 9:25pm Summarization (20 mins)
9:25 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements ********************************************************************************************************************************************
聚會時間:當天請準時於 6:45 pm 到達 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
最低消費: 80 元

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4. 在正式加入之前,可以先來觀摩三次,觀摩者亦須參與討論。正式加入需繳交終身會費 NT$1,000。
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 75
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 11/19(Tue) Free walking tour (Host: Amy)

文章 Janice Wang »

The purpose of a person’s travel is varied and personal. Some yearn to give their mundane and pedestrian life a pause by setting off on a relaxing and rejuvenating voyage to replenish one’s energy, some expect to expand their perspective or embark on a self-discovery journey for some soul searching, and some may just get itchy feet and simply want to wander around purposelessly to experience “Somethings good may happen when one least expects it.” In my sense, no matter what purpose of a trip is, it will eventually become a part of you somehow; after all, one’s destination is just a place, how we perceive, interact, and absorb from our journey matter most.

Given the fact that my laziness and impatience always overpower my due diligence when doing groundwork before a trip; “the group tour” and “visiting friends or relatives” conveniently become predominant over other types of trips in my travel journal. Therefore, before embracing “ The Free Tour “ concept, I might need some extra efforts to convince myself that “free walking tour” is a “hassle-free” tour in terms of the concerns over safety, quality, and a possible tips drama. Perhaps it’s worth giving a shot in my favorite travel destination, Japan, which casts a spell on me and stands out for its proximity, jet lag-free, and delicious weight-worry-free Japanese cuisine.

For most of us taking a global expedition, “overtourism”, appears to become a ubiquitous phenomenon all over the iconic tourist spots, an omnipresent conundrum for locals and visitors, and a double-edged sword for a country’s economy and lifestyle. In addition, it seems to leave little solutions to a governance body to face the problem head-on but to limit access, issue permits, and raise prices. However, are those measures able to completely address the problem, ease the burden, and resolve visitors’ NIMBY attitude? Should each and every individual actively take one’s share of responsibility to alleviate this very problem?

To wrap it up, the last question, how have travel experiences changed you; it’s a million-dollar question, also the best bang-for-my-buck one. I’m sure to some extent, it’s supposed to but, alas, I hardly notice any change on me from all those getaways, except that I have come to realize that no matter how long and far away I go or how much happiness and liveliness a wonderful trip brings me, home, is always where I return happily!