Last week, the journalists of our portal went on an excursion around St. Petersburg, after which they were able to take a short interview with the guide. The tour guide was Vishnevskaya Lyubov Dmitrievna … She shared some highlights of her work.
Why did you decide to become a tour guide?
- I like it, this is my favorite job - to acquaint tourists with our city and show its sights.
What does it take to become a tour guide?
- Love St. Petersburg, love your profession, be able to tell how I see this city. I like to communicate with people, talking about the beauty of my beloved city.
What places do tourists like the most?
- Tourists like to walk along the Palace Square, along the embankment of Vasilyevsky Island. They are attracted by the Sphinxes on the waterfront. They often visit St. Isaac's Cathedral.
What advice would you give to tourists: visit the excursion on your own or use the services of travel companies?
- Of course, the services of travel companies. When a person arrives in an unfamiliar city, even though he has read about it, it is difficult for him to navigate, so it is better to turn to specialists who will advise where to go first, where you can spend time interestingly and usefully.
It is winter now, not a tourist season, please tell us how the excursions in the suburbs of St. Petersburg are going at this time?
- In winter, we conduct small excursions to parks, visit palaces, which are now free and calm.
Does the cost of the excursion change during the summer season?
- Yes, in summer excursions become more expensive, as the cost of entrance tickets increases and excursion programs change, for example, boat trips appear, parks and fountains open.
What excursion do you like to do the most?
- I have many favorite excursions, but most of all I am attracted by Tsarskoe Selo, Peterhof, its parks and fountains. A very interesting excursion "Myths and Legends of St. Petersburg".
Please name the most unusual excursion that you conducted
- The most unusual for me is "Scarlet Sails" in 2018. Tourists are afraid of crowds, but they want to get into the thick of things. This year we were very lucky to take good places on the waterfront, although it is very difficult to do so. But we did it.
Is it worth trusting the information received during the excursion about the secrets and mysteries of the city?
- Why not? Of course it's worth it! We use verified information, we use materials from scientific lectures and documents, literature of that time.
Did we understand correctly that the sightseeing tour is the most popular among tourists?
- Yes, I recommend this excursion to all tourists who come to us for the first time, this excursion starts acquaintance with the city.
Who most often orders excursions from you? Describe your tourists
- Recently, families have started to book excursions most often. Previously, training teams were mainly ordered.
Please tell us some funny incident that happened during the excursion
- Cases are different, now it's hard to remember. Sometimes tourists ask very interesting questions.
What was the most interesting question in your opinion?
- I was asked: "Do they eat elephants or not?"
And what have the elephants to do with it?
- We had an elephant courtyard where elephants lived until 1770 on Vosstaniya Square, opposite the Moscow railway station. Once, after an excursion, a girl comes up to me and asks: "Do they eat elephants?" I thought about it, then went to search the Internet. It turns out that elephants really do eat. They cook for a very long time and eat.
I know that Chinese tourists are very fond of the Hermitage and the Catherine Palace. How do you manage to cope with the queues at the museum?
- Standing in line, we talk about what we see, what we know, we try to entertain tourists so that they do not get bored.
Did we see everything in the three-hour sightseeing tour program? What else would you advise to pay attention to?
- Of course, not all! I advise you to go on a night tour of the city or visit the excursion "Myths and Legends of St. Petersburg". It is impossible to see everything during a three-hour excursion …
How often do you have stressful situations, misunderstandings among tourists?
- There are, but very rarely.
Did you have any thoughts to change the job of a guide in St. Petersburg, to change the field of activity?
- No, I deliberately came to this specialty. Therefore, at the moment, no.
There are many holidays in St. Petersburg: City Day, "Scarlet Sails", Day of lifting the blockade of Leningrad, etc. Does the format of the excursion change on holidays?
- Yes, I try to change and definitely mention these dates, because this is the life of our city.
What advice would you give to tourists preparing to visit your city?
- Listen carefully to the guide's story and ask questions after the tour.
What prevents you from conducting excursions?
- It interferes with work when tourists talk on the phone, and then I interrupt the story and try not to interfere with the tourist, I give him the opportunity to talk. You should not comment on the guide's story during the excursion, it is better to express your attitude to a certain episode later.
What, in your opinion, is the success of the excursion?
- The success of any excursion is the ability of the guide to introduce tourists to the sights in an interesting and understandable way, to be able to answer any question they might have. A good guide should be able to find an approach to each group.
On our own behalf, we want to add that the three-hour sightseeing tour with Lyubov Dmitrievna passed in the same breath, and we, having come again to St. Petersburg, will definitely visit other excursions.