20 dumb questions Banff tour operators hear on the job

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Canader, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. 20 dumb questions Banff tour operators hear on the job

    It could be all that fresh mountain air. Or maybe it's the altitude, a different time zone or even jet lag.
    Otherwise there's no excuse for what makes tourists ask the dumbest questions.
    There are some real gems, and it happens all the time. Just ask the patient and good-natured folks who make a living showing tourists around Banff National Park.
    Some of them will tell you that summer is the silliest season for tour operators. That's when travellers from around the globe descend on Banff National Park for their trip of a lifetime. They're ecstatic about being amid mountains and glaciers, and stoked about spotting a bear, elk or moose. And they wonder just how we live up here in the Great White North.
    "We get a broader range of people (in summer)," says Daymon Miller, general manager of Discover Banff Tours. "They're coming from a broad range of urban centres with generally no concept of the wilderness."
    It's not much different at Banff Adventures Unlimited, where Tanya Semos is general manager.
    "People are ridiculous . . . but it makes our job fun. We're starting a book," she says, guffawing at the tales her colleagues bring back to the office.
    When the speak-before-thinking zinger is uttered, tour operators try to have a little fun, Miller says, without embarrassing them.
    Stu Back, director of in-resort services for Banff-Lake Louise Tourism sent a list of "unusual" questions compiled over the past few years. He underscored, that like anyone who deals with the public, it can be trying:
    "The answers our professional counselling staff provided to these unusual questions are testament to the depth of knowledge and patience required to assist visitors who are often tired and confused on arrival to our destination."
    From an unofficial survey of Banff tour operators, here are the top 20 outrageous questions, some with answers in case you've wondered the same thing. As for the rest, well, they stand on their own.
    1. Are the animals with collars tame? (These animals have been fitted with tagged collars because they have had incidents with people. It is important to stay a safe distance away from wildlife.)
    2. We are going into British Columbia. Do we need to change our money into Euros?
    3. Can we drive our car onto a glacier anywhere? (Not to our knowledge, but you might enjoy a trip on the Ice Explorer across the Columbia Icefields.)
    4. Do we need snow tires or chains to drive to Lake Louise in July?
    5. Where are the igloos and the Eskimos?
    6. If the Columbia Icefield melts before we get there, can we do a different excursion?
    7. Can you see polar bears at the Columbia Icefield?
    8. Can I walk around P.E.I. in a day?
    9. Can I get from Vancouver to Toronto by driving in a day?
    10. At what elevation do the deer turn to elk?
    11. How much does that mountain weigh?
    12. Is this all natural?
    13. While working at the (Banff) Gondola on a rainy day I was asked to turn the fog off at the top so they could see."
    14. While working at the Gondola, I got asked when we release the animals so they can start feeding them. I had to remind them that this wasn't a petting zoo, the animals are wild and come out when they please -- and please don't feed them."
    15. Where's that place where I can see the bear in the cage? Can I get a photo with him?
    16. If I see a bear when I'm hiking, can I just keep walking past it?
    17. Can you guarantee wildlife sightings?
    18. Where is the rocky mountain?
    19. What's the best trail to take a bike on to see a cougar?
    20. Where are the animals kept at night?
    Bonus Question: Where can I find a wife?

  2. It is nice to see that Banff offer a customer focused service and have an in depth understanding of the needs of the people who pay their wages.

    Some questions are a bit daft, but if you have never stepped foot outside an urban area how would you know why a bear has a collar on or if you need snow chains in the summer. I hope people who are bringing employment to this otherwise deserted area vote with their feet and take their Euros to somewhere that they can spend their money and ask as many stupid questions as they like without ridicule.
  3. OK, so which question was yours?
  4. Dumb tour operators failing to spot irony/humour in more than a few of these questions!
  5. You forget, most tourists that ask dumb questions like that are from the Excited States which, since the death of Samuel Clemens, is a land sadly devoid of irony, witticisms and sarcastic humour. Unlike Essex....
  6. Or Canada who can’t decide whether to be loud mouthed arrogant Yanks, or just put your hands up and Surrender.
  7. I went to Bannf and lake Louise in 81, what a lovely place, would love to go back there again
  8. Ouch!

    I love Canada. Ex Med Man was hard work but the R&R afterwards was the business, and the places I went to, including Banff were ace. (Medicine Hat, you are exempt from aceness……except the MING TREE Chinese restaurant)
  9. I guess that would be Essex and Glasgow, apparently....
  10. At least in Glasgow we are clever enough to smile when we rip tourists off and not publish how silly we actually think they are. In the PR world I think that article would be seen as an own goal.
  11. a rough pole showed that the silliest questions were asked by canadians
  12. Went to Banff on AT. Spent 5 days trapped in the Legion. Weather was glorious, apparently.
  13. My wife and I with our two daughters went to Banff and Lake Louise in 1983, had a great time touring Canada in a VW Eutops pop top van, first time seeing snow for our 14 year old daughter who went back again Dec 09 for 6 weeks and took her two kids aged 10 and 11, and retraced the steps taken with her in 83, what a great country, next to Australia it is our favourite place, and my 80 odd cousins who are Canucks think the other way round of course - they like coming here for hols though and our tour guides get questions just as stupid, they want to see Kangaroos in the city, koalas in every tree, and prawns as big as lobsters (because of Paul Hogan and his barbie tourist adverts many years ago), whereas everybody knows lobsters weigh over a kilogram, and our prawns are slightly less, but only slightly!