Your Tour Manager
One of the keys to success on your trip will be your tour manager. Learn about the role of an ACIS Tour Manager, what to expect from them and how you can help.
From the moment you land in your destination city to the moment you depart for the States, you will have an ACIS Tour Manager with you 24 hours a day to help you lead the way.
Meticulously trained, multi-lingual guides and educators, ACIS Tour Managers will serve as your participants’ entry point into foreign life and customs. They act as an accessible, authoritative source of information, helping participants form a basis for exploration. They’ll be sure to make you laugh too!
Over the years, we’ve employed university professors, film directors, journalists, musicians, business professionals and other creative achievers. Each tour manager brings a unique perspective to his or her tours, and all share a love for teaching and an irresistible enthusiasm about the regions they’ll show you.
What would you tell a parent about sending their
child on an ACIS educational tour?
Most young people growing up today learn about the world via the rolling 24-hour news, normally showing the very worst of human behavior. Travel is an opportunity to see the very best.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Born in Alabama to a French mother and an American father, I grew up with both cultures throughout my life! As a child I spent most of my summer vacations in French cities like Lyon and Aix en Provence. In 2013 after a sabbatical year in the city of Bordeaux, I decided to live in France for good!
What’s the one thing you wish every student could experience while traveling?
I hope that every student that travels will leave behind their comfort zone, will meet new people and learn about different cultures.
Helena Perez Guerra
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been working for ACIS since 2008 ( yes time flies…). Born and raised in Barcelona, lived and studied in London (obtained a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art Theory) before moving to Paris and eventually returning to Barcelona. I consider myself a curious European who enjoys exploring the similarities and the differences that this continent has to offer.
What do you hope students take away from their experience?
The more we learn about the environment, the more we learn about ourselves. And we really can make a difference by using knowledge to change our world for the better.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I love being a tour manager and sharing my knowledge of China’s history and culture with Americans. I hope to meet you!
What is the first think you recommend to people when they visit Venice?
Get lost. Not in a rude way, I promise. But seriously, venture away from the touristy areas…[and you will receive] a more authentic experience of the city.
What’s one thing you wish every young adult could experience while traveling?
The sense of wanting to write home, about everything—knowing that each thing you do is a first, and feeling your life developing into something quite interesting.
Have you always loved to travel?
Growing up, I wanted more than anything to visit America. Now, I’ve taken that love of travel and become a professional tour manager showing groups the famous landmarks and hidden gems of the British Isles and Ireland.
In principle, your tour manager is accessible around the clock, especially for any emergency situations.
- Your tour manager will give you and the other group leaders his or her hotel room number and/or cellular phone number.
- During periods of free time, including during the evenings, tour managers are available to conduct local walking tours or arrange other optional activities at the group’s request. If you have more than one group on your bus, please remember that the tour manager will need to divide his or her time fairly between the groups.
- We suggest that you and any other group leaders you’re traveling with work out your choice of walking tours or local optional excursions a day or two in advance in order to spare your tour manager from having to referee conflicting preferences.
- Although your tour manager is, in principle, always available, he or she carries important administrative duties, such as preparations of the next day’s activities, and would appreciate a bit of time during the day to get these done.
ACIS Tour Managers are specifically instructed not to get involved in disciplinary matters, as discipline is strictly between you and your participants. Obviously, if a tour manager observes behavior that threatens anyone’s safety or well-being, he or she will report it at once and take any necessary emergency actions.
Similarly, as an ACIS representative, your tour manager will respond to any concerns that hotels might express about the group’s behavior.
Ways to Help Your Tour Manager
- Punctuality. Ensure that your participants are on time and do not wander off during sightseeing tours or at rest stops. Develop a quick head count system in order to ensure your entire group is assembled.
- Proper environment. Help your driver keep the bus clean.
- Emergencies. As group leader, you take the major responsibility in emergencies involving any of your participants, such as a lost passport or illness. Your tour manager is there to back you up in every way, but he or she must also maintain his or her responsibility to the overall group.
- Optional Excursions. It is mandatory that you or an assistant group leader accompany your participants on all excursions and activities. You cannot leave supervision entirely to your tour manager in these cases.
- Enforcing the Curfew. Ensure that your students observe the standard midnight curfew and get enough rest. It is demoralizing for the tour manager to give commentary to a busload of sleeping participants.
- Moral Support. The tour manager’s authority is essential to the success of the trip. Avoid undermining his or her authority by avoiding contradicting him or her in front of the group, even if a mistake is made. Instead, address the issue later in private.
It is customary to tip your tour manager and touring bus driver for a job well done. For your convenience we now include tips as a separate line item in the program fees that travelers pay up front. Additional tips for outstanding service are always appreciated, but never required.
In Case of Tour Manager Issues
ACIS is proud of our team of tour managers who have distinguished themselves as the most dedicated, caring escorts in the educational travel industry.
Nonetheless, they are individuals, and, in very rare cases, a chemistry mismatch with the group might occur. If this happens, please be honest in discussing the matter directly with your tour manager and fellow group leaders.
If the issue does not resolve, or if it is delicate, please follow the procedure outlined on the ACIS Red Card, and call the 24-hour U.S. emergency contact number collect at 617-450-5678. Please don’t wait until the trip is over! We want to ensure the best match right away.