Interview with Specialty Tours Owner Mark Beyerle
Question One: Tell me briefly about Specialty Tours, company background, years in business, percentage of student to mature travelers and your tour guide’s experience.
After a 17-year successful career with the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, I began Specialty Tours to fill a need in the custom-designed private group tour area, specifically creating high energy, interactive tour programs that feature new and exciting experiences. Philadelphia is a grand cosmopolitan city with a broad range of experiences. Specialty Tours is now in our eleventh year of business. We have a fully diversified client base ranging from school groups (28%) to discerning individual guests looking for a private experience. We welcome convention groups (8%), international groups (13%), adult tour & travel (26%) and corporate/other professional groups (25%). Our guides have an average of 14 years of experience. Many are former educators and/or actors who deliver inspiring tours.
Question Two: Name the best three student tours in Philadelphia and why?
#1 History Debunked
Get up close and personal with the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) with this high-def tour. See the Betsy Ross House and learn about the making of the first US Flag (it took a lot more than just Betsy). Visit the site where the Articles of Confederation were adopted. Lean about the “presidents” before George Washington. Not everyone signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. When did we officially become the United States of America?
This tour captures the student with it’s “I didn’t know that” facts and places in such a way that they continue to stay engaged listening for the next “really!?!”
#2 Haunted History
This fast paced, highly interactive twilight/nighttime adventure is filled with real historic tales of plagues and pirates … ghosts and gore … and true factual learning fun. Far from the made-up tales of a “ghost tour,” Haunted History is the real macabre side of Philadelphia. What caused 20,000 people to flee the city of Philadelphia in 1793 and 5,000 to perish? Reenact elements from the first bank robbery in America. Wear the veil of the “burning bride” and other interactive ways that the group is involved in the stories. It’s an evening EDUtainment adventure!
# 3 Independence – The Story of America’s Birthplace
Experience an interactive guided tour through America’s Birthplace where members of your group portray the Founding Fathers and Mothers. Follow in their footsteps and visit the very places where they created a new nation including Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, Franklin Court, Christ Church and much more!
Visit us next week when we discover Mark’s favorite student tour and the strangest student tour!