Interview with Mark Smith: Peru Travel Expert
ATLAS is an association of tourism companies in Central and South America. We offer a variety of experiential tours and adventure tours in Latin America. Mark Smith, from Amazonas Explorer, shares his personal journey in adventure travel and vision on tourism.
Tell me a little about yourself and why you decided to go into tourism…
I loved the mountains ever since I was little and wanted a way to spend my life in them
What is your role in the company?
Head of marketing
How long have you been working in the industry?
How many people work in the company and how many guides?
14 full time, and about 14 guides
What are the requirements a guide local guide must meet to work in your company?
You need to stand out, to want to do the best you can each day. Great people skills, language skills and technical skills. Plus of course the obligatory tourism degree and other yearly courses required to guide here in Cusco and Machu Picchu.
What type of training do they have?
Each year we run training courses, first aid, river safety and so on. We also gather all our staff together at the end of each year to get feedback and see how we can improve next year. Plus they take various training courses in history, natural history and so on in the off season.
What are the main destinations of the tours you offer?
Machu Picchu, Cusco
What is the most popular tour you offer? What makes it popular?
Five Day Inca Trail – by allowing an extra day than most, you can literally have this world famous trek to Machu Picchu to yourself
What are your travelers from and what are their interests?
Mainly US and UK and some Canada
What do you offer your travelers that other companies don’t? What differentiates your company from the rest?
We try to do everything as well as possible. We encourage you to take your time and see fewer sites, but explore them better. And we encourage you to get out on foot, on bike, raft, canoe or horse, to explore the area, rather than just sitting in a bus.
Tell me about your travelers and how they experience your tours. What do they enjoy the most?
The great guides, seamless logistics and the fact they actually have a fun time, rather than just seeing things.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Getting out into the mountains with good people