Has anyone used Marina S Wilson Private Tours when visiting St. Peterburg. Or have you any recommendations
Do these nine people not count?
Tour guides in St Petersburg are probably different than you have used before. It is considered a profession here, and licenses for each museum, cathedral or palace, acquired by passing exams after school at each. If you are looking for a guide, any licensed guide will likely get very high marks and reviews....partly because most are good and very well versed in the history, culture and tourism of the area. The two other Destination Experts for St Petersburg would be safe bets.
If you are looking for a tour operator to create a package for you, that is a little different and requires a higher level of establishment. It requires a federal registration and proof of financial responsibly before given the right to host foreign visitors. They would probably create an itinerary, book hotels and transportation, supply tickets/vouchers for the venues/museums and other services that fall under the domain of tour operators. You can tell quickly whether the tour operator is registered and can legally host you, they will have a registration number called a MBT number which will be displayed on their web site. With that, they can officially invite you and provide visa support, and register your visa when you arrive. Your hotel can also do that.
Thank you for your reply. I found it most informative
Hi, I am Marina Wilson, a proprietor of Marina Wilson Private Tours.
I am not quite sure what Stanj implied by " a profession here" as I believe a tour guide is a profession everywhere. Different skills are certainly required for eco tour guides, adventure tour guides and history/art tour guides.
I am a fully licensed tour guide, also a proprietor of the tour operating boutique company "Marina Wilson Private Tours" (federation registration number 003117 displayed on our website which in adherence with TA policy I am not going to mention).
The company has been operating since May, 2009. Prior to that I worked as a free lance guide for 2 years.
I came to travel business as a mature professional of the FMCG sector. My resume lists positions of the HR Director for several companies including Coca-Cola in ST-Petersburg, Stimorol in Ukraine and Moldova and Cadbury Schweeps.
I have a linguistic and economics degree. Among many management courses I finished, I would just mention the AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel ) Course AirFares and Ticketing as the most relevant one.
Not quite sure why the question " has anyone used Marina Wilson Private Tours" triggered the comparison between tour guides and tour operators, but have to admit that I am quite happy to be both.
To be fair, happywanderer seemed appreciative of Stan's answer.
From the list of TA reviews Marassa linked to, you are not only quite happy to serve in both but quite good at being both... a good example of how TA should work.
We selected Marina after viewing her web page and getting positive referrals from her clients. My wife and I are very seasoned and knowledgeable travelers and like to think that we do our homework. We never use "group" tours and either rely on self guiding or local private guides. Marina and her team provide the highest level of professional service, they are knowledgeable, flexible and provide a real "insider's" take on sites, culture and political climate. I have since referred several friends to her and should we return to Russia Marina is my first and only call.
We spent 3 incredible days in St. Petersburg last August, from our cruise ship. We designed our own tours and Denrus was the company that we worked through. Our guide was: Nelly Melnikova email@example.com
She was excellent and moved us very professionally. She was one of the best!
You sound quite objective and knowlegable..any recommendations for a one day tour operator..I see Alla tours and a few other have good ratings..
Thanks in advance!
I'm a big fan of your posts..would you be able to recommend a few reputable tour companies for a one day tour that I should explore...I see alla tours and a few others but not much experience with this...I understand the private tours can be cheaper and better than what cruises offer.....thx!
BrianEdited: 09 May 2011, 01:36
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