April comes and we are given a timetable for unlocking and reopening and, by the end of the month, we will be able to leave Wales and I can visit my 90 year old mother and those living in England will be able to come here so I'll be able to see my son again. However, in the meantime how to fill my time?
I continue to teach and arrange online assessments for my wonderful Blue Badge linguist guide colleagues on the course to enable them to guide in Wales seeing things through Welsh eyes. I also try to stop my Green Badge students getting frustrated as the only thing between them and the qualification is the Coach Guiding module and assessment which cannot be done online or socially distanced.
With my colleagues in Wales Best Guides we launch a social enterprise arm to generate some income both for the association and for guides and win a contract from Visit Wales to help produce factsheets for the travel trade. This is welcome, both for the income boost and for a chance to update our knowledge on the tourism product in Wales as we root out new experiences and produce suggested tours and factual on-the-ground knowledge for use by overseas and home tour operators sending clients to Wales.
My main development for my own business is work on a downloadable GPS linked audio commentary tour. The vehicle for this is the very professional voicemap platform who gave me lots of help both in timing - as the commentary has to be the right length for a leisurely stroll around the town without the listener having to stand still for too long, give good location information for what the guide is talking about and of course be of a certain quality both of sound and for the content. This tour is now launched and available https://voicemap.me/tour/conwy .
I am planning to add details to my posters and leaflets and enable the tours to be sold through the Tourist Information and at the hotels and accommodation when they are allowed to reopen.
Also, we Welsh Guides are a really co-operative bunch so I sought to share my discoveries and the folk from Voicemap ran a session in our digital Upskilling course for Wales Tourist Guides.
Amanda Whitehead Official Wales Tourist Guide.