Jennifer Parkes / Stuff
People are encouraged to make their road trips an experience rather than a trip by becoming a tour guide along the way (file photo)
We’ve all been there – squashed in the back seat of the car with siblings, bags and the cold trash when Dad starts his State Highway 1 tour guide.
And don’t forget the weird dad joke thrown in for good measure.
The captive hostages soon have headphones or have fallen asleep.
But professional tour guide Fender Leathers thinks people should take on the role of tour guide on their summer vacation.
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Leathers started working for the Rotorua Agrodome in 2015, but had an 18-month hiatus from pandemic care.
He has now returned to his habits and admits that he does not always leave his job at work.
“Absolutely, practically between every city, we have a lot of countryside. I am able to point out certain animals and give a brief description of them. I can identify trees and talk about those too.
He also encourages others to do the same, with some tips on how to keep people’s attention when putting on the tour guide hat.
“If they’re foreigners, I like to learn how to say hello in their own language and greet them that way. I like to learn keywords in many other languages as well, so I can apply them to the experience, like “let’s go” and “who would like some food?” » and many other phrases.
For younger travel companions, he tends to ask his kids what’s trending on Tik Tok or anything else in the cyber world that normally grabs their attention and incorporates it into the trip.
Leathers believes that prospective guides also have a store of knowledge and experience in their field of work or hobby that could brighten up the commentary.
“If you have a real passion for something, and maybe you’re not even a people person, it would be natural for you to show it off.
“I find that listening is key, understanding where your visitors are coming from and their journey. I try to find a way to answer their questions through my tours and hope to create common ground.
Leathers loves his job and the opportunity to promote the Agrodome.
“I love seeing the smiles on all the faces and just seeing the inner child come out in some of the older generations.
“I can’t believe there are people who maybe haven’t seen an alpaca or a sheep in their entire life and yet we are here with them all on our doorstep. I also love when our visitors leave knowing they have learned something.