Explore Leaders are the best in the business - the awards they've won show that! Although external recognition is great, we also like to show our amazing leaders that here at Explore head office we know they're crucial to the success of each individual trip we run and we simply couldn't function without them. The Explore Leader Awards recognise those leaders who have made your adventure extra special.
The 2016 awards have now closed and after much deliberation we are pleased to announce our winner and runners up:
Overall Winner - Mohsen Mansouri (Iran)
Agust S. Hardarson (Iceland)
Lhoucine Ben Sghir (Morocco)
Miroslav Janotka (Slovakia)
How did we choose the winners?
The Panel was made up of Ashley Toft (Managing Director), Margaret McEwan (Flo) – Head of Governance and Customer Relations, John Telfer (Product Director), Abigail Healey (TTG feature Editor), Sue Guthrie (Wanderlust Award winning leader) and Polly Davies (Marco Polo Travel).
What did the panel say about the Leaders?
- He's great with the locals
- He's always open to answer questions about anything
- He plans his trips well, arranging picnics and taking customers to sights after other tourists have left
- He always puts the customers and their needs first, giving customers advice, letting them know of the weather conditions and giving an all round luxury service
- He is super duper!
- We love the small 'twists' he puts into the trips
- As he runs short tours he has to make make a great impression as well as bond with customers in a short period of time - which he does very well.
- The length and quality of comments were exceptional
- He always goes above and beyond
- He gives up his free days to help customers and take customers out
- Customers are passionate about him and they spent a lot of time writing about him in depth
- He is well regarded by both customers and locals and has fantastic knowledge.
- He is hard working and responsible
- He is very caring, often calling customers to make sure they get back to their hotel ok and has a warm personality
- What a great Leader!
First prize is £1500 and 3 Runners-up prizes £750 each – with 50% going to a charity of the Tour Leader's own choice – either a registered Charity or a local project in the area they work in. This year we hope to bring all four to the UK and they will visit us here at the office!
Although there are no individual categories, there are four main criteria the judges use when making their decisions:
1. Local knowledge
2. People skills
3. Organisational skills
4. Respect for local people, culture and the environment
If you feel that your Explore Leader displayed these qualities, make sure you nominate them in the 2017 Leader Awards (by 1st November 2017).