There are 2 main tour companies in Parma – both have good points and a couple of bad ones.
Firstly, we know we have ironed out the points below, which motivated us to go independent in the first place.
As a foodie you have to love this work… the aromas and the eccentricities. Our mission:
client first for one delightful day of our lives.
As a tourist new to the region, you must check the tour will not be changed at last minute or organised badly.
The most common faults I found working and managing the Parma agencies are.
Issues with sites – some sites were too far apart causing long hauls.
Quality of sites – both companies have reasonable sites – but actually compared to what is available not that special – Italy is an amazing place! (because agencies seek wider profit and refuse to pay the fees FWT provide for quality destinations).
Staff energy – Its is so important to get staff energised and informed in the right way so that they can not only develop the tour to client needs but also have a genuine rapport with the site vendors. I trained staff for both Parma agencies and know first hand the high and low ground. One agency currently has entirely new staff who will need at least 2 years to become fully fledged.
Cultural difference – often a good thing sometimes really a bad one! One of my key roles in recent 5 years is delivering courses in cultural difference and again it is an area that is extremely important.
Client first – It is no good going high brow with a group that want to kick-back and relax. A good tour host always has the people skills and empathy first mindset, making the fit absolutely right for the client – after all, the day with us is often the highlight of the vacation and an ambition well harboured. You deserve it…and we know it well.
Pricing – the pricing isn’t too bad for the client, however the staff wages are extremely slow and staff often begrudgingly show up and serve client in lacklustre fashion. The backroom should be a positive engine room…
Over the years Caterina and I have accumulated a host of great friends and memories working on these tours. You always learn something from your clients.
Food is a passion – a place of genuine delight, family and trust.
We simply love this work.
Hoping this is useful and looking forward to sharing the joy.