Excitement as the local lockdown ended as the school holidays started. The caravan parks and self-catering properties reopened and the town began to fill up - very strange after roaming the empty streets to see families with Liverpool accents crabbing on the quayside. The town walls and castle were still closed and the tiny nature of Conwy's specialised food shops precluded social distancing. So the only tour I was able to operate was The Trail with Tales from the Lady of Wales.
I had cycled around the local caravan parks distributing posters but many of them had their communal areas closed still. Local shops were very helpful in displaying the material and visiting them give me a chance to meet and chat with locals.
I had publicised the meeting point to be outside the local Tourist Information Centre where there was shelter and seats for those waiting. However, these had been closed off due to the crisis and, as the building was shared with the Post Office and social distancing queueing was in operation, I agreed to have my meeting point over the road.The tours started and, I had a chance to review how things were different from my original thoughts.
Considering we were in international lockdown, I was surprised that so many clients - well over half -were from overseas when I expected mostly Brits. On chatting to them I discovered most were working in Britain and usually spent their leave visiting family abroad and, when this became not possible, decided to explore more of the UK instead.
I was very lucky that two of the these early bookers were Ashley and Rotem from https://www.myisraelphotos.com who kindly let me use their very professional photographs.
Another thing I discovered was that people had never used and did not understand the receiver machines. They thought that they were for pre-recorded commentary or translations but nearly all found them useful allowing for freedom to spread out or find a shady or dry space. Once the town walls opened the sets particularly came into their own.
Other things I discovered working with real live clients, was the need for a quiz to motivate the younger audience. I prepared a multi-activity one that allowed them to run around to find things where it was safe to do so but to focus on what I was saying in areas with traffic or other hazards.
Feedback was really good including those all important reviews. from AirBandB experiences, and Tripadvisor reviews to date all have all been 5 star!
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Amanda Whitehead Official Wales Tourist Guide.