A: Simply put… we constantly strive to be the BEST! As the ORIGINAL Receptive Tour Operator in town, our level of professionalism and knowledge of St. Augustine is unparalleled, and we pride ourselves on having the highest standards of hospitality and customer service around. We are here to serve you and make planning your St. Augustine group visit as worry-free and enjoyable as possible. We absolutely welcome and encourage you to please call anyone in town and ask them for a recommendation on us.
A: Receptive Operators are the experts in their own home turf, ie “receptive” meaning that we receive guests into our area. Unlike larger outbound sellers of travel who sell tour packages around the state or nationwide, booking directly with a local receptive operator ensures you have the BEST experience possible- and experience St. Augustine as if you were more than just a visitor. We know all the area-specific details that can sometimes make or break a trip. For example: exact transport time between venues, when to allow for heavier traffic in certain places at specific times of day, special operating hours for businesses and venues, more local colorful history, local special event & festival schedules, etc... even minor details like when a bridge opens/closes that can affect an entire day's schedule! With our guides also being LOCALS themselves and actually living St. Augustine, they know much more in depth stories and history than outside guides possibly can. You’ll often find that our tour guides personally know many of the people you’ll encounter during your visit… giving you a true, authentic experience as if you’re seeing a new town with friends instead of just as a tourist.
A: Easy! Our consultants work with you one on one, as much as you need, to create the perfect trip that fits your budget & requirements exactly. There are no costs involved until you actually decide to book, and then of course the per-person rates are generally all-inclusive of everything you have requested with no hidden fees. We’ll gladly work with you as long as it takes to make sure everything is EXACTLY what you want in your custom tour proposal. That's what creating custom tours packages are all about. Once everything is set, we’ll send you a booking contract to sign, and then… that's it! You just sit back, relax, and let us take care of everything for you. Our job is to make visiting St. Augustine for group leaders and teachers as easy and hassle-free as possible. That is why we are proud to have literally hundreds of groups and schools return with us year after year for the St. Augustine trips.
A: Absolutely YES! While bus-loads of tourists may visit and enter individual attractions, properties, etc. you are required by City ordinance to have a City of St. Augustine guide license IF YOU ARE GIVING ANY TYPE OF TOURS in public, open areas such as down town. The City of St. Augustine Heritage Tourism Department has an official training program that all licensed guides are required to study and pass, as to ensure that our true historic heritage is being shared and maintain standards of quality. Tour Saint Augustine Inc. is the only tourism company that ADDITIONALLY has an on-staff Director of Education, who oversees all guide training and offers specialty courses and training updates that our tour guides participate in regularly. We also work with the National Park Service to offer specialty courses on the Fort. All of our staff are diligent about furthering their St. Augustine knowledge, hence making for a better guest experience and maintaining the standards of excellence we're known for.
A: YES! The Florida Seller of Travel state statute, ss. 559.926 – 559.939 (10) clearly says: "Seller of travel means any resident or nonresident person, firm, corporation, or business entity who offers for sale, directly or indirectly, at wholesale or retail, prearranged travel, tourist-related services, or tour-guide services for individuals or groups…”
Do not be fooled by the fly-by-night companies or individuals who try and sell tours or guide services, but are not licensed Sellers of Travel. This includes even historic walking tours, food tours, ghost tours, etc. ALWAYS LOOK FOR A COMPANY’S SELLER OF TRAVEL LICENSE NUMBER IN ORDER TO BE ASSURED THAT THEY ARE A LEGITIMATELY PRACTICING TOUR COMPANY AND PROPERLY LICENSED & INSURED! Aside from just supporting legitimate business practices and tour guides who follow all ordinances and regulations, you also ensure that you will not run into any unexpected snags during your visit.
A: Unlike larger sellers of travel (who frequently sub-contract local companies to operate their St. Augustine tours, then mark them up for profit) we deal directly with all the vendors ourselves. This ‘cuts out the middle-man” and saves you the overhead costs. Your tour proposal prices are generally all-inclusive, per-person, with no additional fees surprising you along the way.
A: NO! Unfortunately this is just a sales tactic frequently used by some other companies, specifically in certain counties- however Tour Saint Augustine Inc. books directly with schools in every county across the state. Your purchasing department may require ‘in county vendors only’ to process a payment, but this rarely occurs and we’ll happily chat with your school’s purchasing departments ourselves to assist you- plus most outbound tour companies will ultimately subcontract a local receptive like us (and mark up the price) anyway, for at least portions of your trip.
We can also accept direct payment from each individual on your trip in certain circumstances if easier for you (even directly online from individuals) hence not even requiring a lump-sum payment through your school’s purchasing department. Give us a call if you have ANY questions… our job is to make life as easy as possible for teachers, and we’ve never had to cancel a field yet trip due to any such policies!
Proudly Serving Teachers, Group Leaders
and Travel Media for over 25 years!
A: Of course! We carry a $2 million dollar general liability policy and can supply you a copy of if needed. Of course we are bonded with the State of Florida as a licensed Seller of Travel. All of our tour guides also go through extensive background checks. Unlike local independent contractor "guides" that come and go, we operate in compliance with all state and federal employment requirements.
A: Surprisingly, No. Receptive Tour Operators have special non-published wholesale rate contracts with many vendors (including bus companies) due to the bulk business we do each year with them... thus many times we can pass those savings on to you. Also our talented staff can create custom programs and experiences for groups that are just as educational and memorable as visiting certain attractions, but without the costs of entry fees. For example, schools on a tight budget can do EXTERIOR tours of the fort without having to pay the entrance fees, and still have a great time and learn tons of information.