I’ve been on many tours and sightseeing excursions (in addition to conducting my own tours) during my many years as a traveler, so I have a pretty good feeling of how a tour should be properly conducted.
The most common sightseeing excursion is the ½ day city highlights tour.
Many tourists who arrive in a new locale will typically go on an orientation
or highlights tour in order to get a feeling for the place. The tour may include historical points of interests, museums, monuments and parks as well as sampling the local color. Let’s not forget time for shopping.
As a general rule of thumb, the time allotted for such a tour should be approximately 4-6 hours, with the maximum distance from the point of origin no more than 30-40 minutes away. The tour should focus on no more than 3 major venues or attractions – sometimes the tour operators try to cram too many venues and attractions into the ½ day tour.
Take San Francisco as an example, a city I am most familiar with - A well rounded ½ day tour of the City might include Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town and North Beach (all in the same general vicinity) as well as Golden Gate Park (including the Japanese Tea Gardens and the De Young Museum) and perhaps a ride across the bridge to Sausalito, a popular tourist town hugging the San Francisco Bay with marvelous views of the CITY. This would be a good 6 1/2 hours including time for lunch in Sausalito. Of course, additional time will be chewed up in dropping off passengers at their respective hotels.
An all day tour will typically last 8-10 hours. Usually, they will depart shortly after breakfast. – let’s say at 8:00AM– 9:00AM and return by 6:00 -7:00PM in the evening. The maximum distance from the point of origin should be no more than 2 hours away with 1-1½ hours as the optimal distance. Again, the maximum number venues should be limited to 3 major attractions (allowing 1 hour for lunch).
If the distance to the furthest venue is more than 2 hours away from the originating point, the tour operator should consider a one - two night overnight at the primary or furthest venue. Travelers don’t want to spend the whole day on the bus!
Here are some specific examples of all day touring:
SAN FRANCISCO - To Monterey and Carmel via Santa Cruz (a popular beach town) or to Calistoga and the wine country, the drive will take a good for two hours
In COSTA RICA, highly compact country, there are many attraction and points of interest within a 90-minute radius of San Jose including the Caribbean Lowlands, Irazu Volcano/ Orosi Valley and La Paz Butterfly Gardens/Poas Volcano
THAILAND – Originating from Bangkok, a trip to Siam Cultural Park in Ratchaburi Province, the estimated travel time is 1 1/2 hours. To historic Ayutthaya and Lopburi, the approximate travel time to Lopburi would be 1 hour.
Sphere: Related Content
P.S. My apologies to my valued subscribers for my absence over the last month