Guiding Principles: BBB offers visitors tips on hiring a tour guide

July 08, 2014

July 8, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - With more than 4.5 million visitors to Calgary each year, and nearly a million of those visiting during Stampede week*, BBB is warning adventurous visitors to tread carefully when it comes to choosing a guide when venturing beyond the Stampede grounds and into the Southern Alberta outdoor playground.

"When you're out enjoying all of the adventure Southern Alberta has to offer, a guide can be a great way to get the most out of your visit," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "But it's important to remember, that you're not only trusting a guide or outfitter with your money, but in some cases with your life."

BBB recommends keeping the following in mind when hiring a tour guide:

  • Decide which kind of tour guide is needed. Will you be visiting a historical site, seeing major attractions or participating in an outdoor activity? Different tour guides will have different skill-sets, experiences and background knowledge. Check with local historical societies for official tours and guides.
  • Check credentials. Make sure your outfitter or guide has the proper hunting/fishing licenses and understand what is required of you as well. Look for a guide who has plenty of experience in the area and in the activity.
  • Ask about emergency response abilities. When you're roaming the wilderness of Southern Alberta, you want to be prepared for an emergency. Be sure your guide is experienced and certified in CPR and other emergency response procedures. 
  • Ask about insurance. Your guide should be fully insured in case of liability. Also be sure your medical insurance is up to date and will cover any activity you might be undertaking.
  • Ask about payment policies. Is there an up-front fee? Are there extra costs for certain services? Knowing the expenses beforehand will ensure you know what exactly you're signing up for.
  • Know Thyself. Be realistic about your physical limitations and what sort of adventure you're equipped to take. Signing up for something in line with your capabilities will help ensure a safer, more pleasurable experience.
  • Reputation: In addition to asking trusted friends and family, check for a guide's marketplace reputation and history.
  • Check with Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta. From things to do and events to check out, Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta have information for first-time visitors, return tourists and resident Calgarians.

For tips you can trust, visit  

*Statistics courtesy of Tourism Calgary and the Calgary Herald

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Media Contact:
Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
(403) 531-8793 or

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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