Author Topic: Tipping Tour Guides  (Read 4625 times)

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a

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2012, 08:35:15 AM »
I would agree that I would not tip guides in the UK and was surprised to read many comments that people would - were they really thinking of the UK?

Last year I went on a bus tour of a city in the UK and the guide did mention towards the end that we were welcome to give them a "token of our appreciation" as we exited the bus. Some did, but less than half of the ones I saw leaving.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2012, 09:40:58 AM »
The company that runs these tours for high schools and universities (and apparently have been doing so for years) sent us (I'm help to organize) a recommended amount per person per day so I assumed they would know best.  I just didn't think their amount was quite right.
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a

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2012, 11:26:26 AM »
In that case I would go with exactly what they have written. Their hiring tactics include paying people the minimum, and thus paying as little tax as possible (the company + the employees), 'because there will be Americans on the tour and they always tip better than that'.

I really don't agree with that viewpoint and would do my best to discourage them from continuing that practice.

saki

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2012, 02:43:15 PM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

I agree - I wouldn't tip a tour guide in the UK and nor would anyone else I know.

I think you're exaggerating a touch re: tipping in the UK, though, as it's common to tip hairdressers and taxi drivers as well as waiters/waitresses.

Even for a group of ~30?  I do believe we will have drivers a few times (though I don't know how many, if they'll be different each time, or for how long we will use their services).  I can see not tipping individually, but for a group that big?

I'm probably just being dim but I really don't understand why group size should make a difference.  Are you saying that a big group should tip but a small group shouldn't?  Or the other way around?  Why would you base your tip on the size of the group anyway?  I don't follow.

cabbagegirl28

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »
In my experience tours in the UK run in two ways.  1) Free tours - the tour guide is either a volunteer or an employee, either way the cost of running the tour is included in your ticket 2) Bookable tours - you may pay extra to join a tour but that's covering your costs for the tour.  Tipping isn't done in the UK for anything other than food and even then we only tip 10%.  The only exception that I can think of is if you have a private bus you might have a collection for the driver.

I agree - I wouldn't tip a tour guide in the UK and nor would anyone else I know.

I think you're exaggerating a touch re: tipping in the UK, though, as it's common to tip hairdressers and taxi drivers as well as waiters/waitresses.

Even for a group of ~30?  I do believe we will have drivers a few times (though I don't know how many, if they'll be different each time, or for how long we will use their services).  I can see not tipping individually, but for a group that big?

I'm probably just being dim but I really don't understand why group size should make a difference.  Are you saying that a big group should tip but a small group shouldn't?  Or the other way around?  Why would you base your tip on the size of the group anyway?  I don't follow.

A group of 30 is harder to move around. I think that's why Dark Magdalena said that.


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Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2012, 06:44:38 PM »
Yes, a group of thirty is much harder to move around and to keep together.
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saki

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2012, 03:56:54 AM »
Yes, a group of thirty is much harder to move around and to keep together.

But, on the other hand, you'll get much more personal service from a tour guide if they've just got a small group.

Actually, though, I think this goes to the heart of the issue - my reaction to your point is "but that's what they're paid for - if a big group is harder, they'll get paid more for that" because, fundamentally, I don't think of tips as being a part of someone's wage because that just isn't the case in the UK.  You might - maybe - tip a tour guide who went out of their way for you but not one who just did their job.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 06:01:24 PM »
My college choir did the bus tour across England thing.  Nobody said anything about tipping the driver and the guide until the last day, when all of a sudden we were informed we were supposed to tip them 1-2 pounds each per day (which came to ~$20-$40 total for the trip).  This was literally RIGHT before we got back to the airport, so many of us didn't have that much cash left on us because we had planned ahead and spent down all our spare local currency!  On top of that, the tour guide had been absolutely horrible and antagonistic to us the entire time.  I felt bad for the student who got stuck with collecting the tip - most people just threw in a handful of spare change, so I'm sure the total ended up being far less than the guide and driver had expected.  I know at least a few people specifically tipped the driver (who had been fine) but NOT the guide, purely because of the guide's behavior.

Sapphire

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2012, 04:44:44 AM »
Coming late to the topic, but I agree with the other PPs from the UK - I would almost never tip a tour guide in the UK. You say it is a big group over several days going to several places - is this the same tour guide asking you to each of the places over those days? If so, and I had exceptional service, I may tip up to, say, 5, but no more, and I woudn't feel embarrassed not tipping - it just isn't in our culture to tip for that kind of thing, regardless of what your tour company has advised you.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Tipping Tour Guides
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2012, 10:49:16 AM »
I'd forgotten about this thread, but it's too late now.  We just got back two days ago.  The guides were all part of the Blue Badge tour guides group; they each got a quite large tip.  These were not tour guides through, say, the Tower of London, but rather people who took us through the Inns of Court and explained them to us or other such similar things.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.