It’s hard to define exactly what the role of the tour guide is. Some people think he needs to show people the way and that’s it, and some believe his job is to flood the traveler with a ridiculous amount of information. My approach is a little different. A good tour guide is someone who can connect between the group and the site. Sounds simple? Not really… According to this definition the tour guide needs to feel the group he is touring with, what interested them and what didn’t, are they tired, are they in a good mood, and in general to test the line between giving the group a significant experience or one that makes the group hate him. The guide also has to know everything there is about the site. He has to be knowledgeable in various fields so that he could provide the group with what they are interested in and focus on it, even if it wasn’t planned in advance. This is the only way he can explain a site and say significant things about it that fascinate the travelers.
One of the best ways to reach this balance between the group, the site, and the guide, is to choose a tailor made tour. In this type of tour the sites and the contents are decided upon earlier in a mutual discussion between the guide and a representative of the group. This way the tour can have a personal touch. We can add the right touch, try to ignore historical sites or put the emphasis on the vegetation between the Western Wall’s bricks. Everything is planned according to the group’s interests and character. I recommend this type of tour to anyone who doesn’t know exactly what they want to see on the tour, or to those who know what they want to see but are contemplating what to add to it. For example, if you are coming to Jerusalem only to follow Yossi Banai – you should choose a structured tour, but if you want to see Yossi Banai’s childhood neighborhood and some other places in the area, the tailor made tour is just what you need.