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Travel Update: COVID-19

Meet APT Tour Director - Colin Watson

UK-based Tour Director Colin shares why we're all still kids at heart when we travel, and never passes up on a snowball fight with guests.
Tour Director, Colin Watson headshot
What does your job entail and what do you love most about it? 
I take Swiss and Italian rail tours, escorting and guiding guests through the Alps and Italy. Ensuring they get the most out of their sometimes first taste of Europe is a priority, adding extra experiences to their program along the way, such as guided and historical walks. I also make sure their needs are met by dealing with guides, hotels and restaurants and translating, where necessary, to ensure guests feel comfortable travelling with APT. 
My job is a dream! I've worked in travel since 2002 and love meeting new people, and sharing tales of life and experiences. It's so wonderful to see their reactions to new sights and countries and feeling their appreciation for the job I do. Some guests still want to contact me for recommendations after returning home to book another trip. My team are also so supportive and give me not only the information I need, but ask for my input for new tours or changes to improve current tours.
Colin with tour group
What has been your favourite on-tour moment and why?
There are too many to name, but the Alps are special and seeing guests playing in the snow, never having seen snow that deep or even snow at all  having snowball fights and building a snowman with me. Then into the lounge for a glass of mulled wine and laughing about our experiences on tour at the end of two weeks. We are all still children at heart!
Tour Director, Colin Watson with tour bus
How long have you worked for the company and what is your favourite thing about APT?
I've worked  for the company for almost nine years. During this time, I've been fortunate to have worked on different group products: APT, Travelmarvel and Botanica, as both a Cruise Director and Tour Director. I've always felt respected by both management and my peers for the work I do. That gives me great satisfaction, together with the fact that the company have also been loyal to me.
What does travel mean to you?
Travel means so many things to me. Visiting new places, the journeys themselves and rekindling old experiences of places and how they've changed since my last visit. Speaking to locals in their language, eating their local food, sampling their wines and building relationships with hotels and guides which have lasted over the years. Being able to stand on top of a mountain, above the clouds and watch the sunrise. Magic moments that make life worth living. I used to sit all day in front of a computer in my past lifewhat is there not to love about travel?
Travel is calling… where will you travel to next?
I've been lucky to have seen a lot of the world: Europe, the Caribbean, USA, AustraliaNew Zealand , but being a 'mountains man' I would love to tour Patagonia or see Everest. I'm also a history lover and will probably return to Rome to tour the ancient Roman archeological sites of southern Italy next year. In the meantime, I've booked a tour of Andalusian cities next Spring, while studying Spanish during lockdown to help me along!
Historic ruin buildings, Rome