Meet Local Expert | Douglas Johnston, Galashiels, Scotland, UK

15 Sep

Meet Local Expert | Douglas Johnston, Galashiels, Scotland, UK

2 mins read

Douglas Johnston grew up in Galashiels in Scotland and feels such affinity for the area that he chooses to continue to live in his village. He has been a guide with a local agency for over 19 years. Since then, he has also become an ops supervisor and PCV trainer. Douglas still guides tours, showing others his passion for his beloved Scotland. This is displayed through the way he prepares and conducts his tours.

For his Up Helly Aa tour in Shetland, Douglas typically grows out his beard and wears his Viking hat. Douglas’s friendly and easy-going nature has enabled him to have a strong rapport with some of the Up Helly Aa festival’s Jarl. This then enables his passengers to see the Viking galley boat in its shed before it is taken away to be burned as well as meet some of the Jarls. When he takes a group of passengers on the Saint Andrews tour, Douglas will have golf clubs on hand, so their picture may be taken on the Old Course.

Being an operations supervisor in addition to being a guide, enables Douglas to teach those newly hired how to become an amazing guide. He teaches them: his knowledge, stories, how to drive in a fuel-efficient manner, to encourage their passengers to be responsible tourists by picking and being respectful of village residents as well as to enjoy their job of guiding. This leads to another group of guides ready to help their passengers create happy memories of Scotland and to have the locations on the tour routes happy to have the coaches stop by.




Tourist guides are cultural brokers, sustainability communicators, unforgettable experience creators, educators and ambassadors of sustainable tourism for all. Up until now, such tourist guides have been doing their best, to be the voice of responsible tourism, but have never had the chance, to be rewarded with an international award for all the great work that they do. That is why G-Guides decided to give them a chance, to present their work. On September 27th 2019, on World Tourism Day, we shall award the Green Microphone Award, to the best voice of responsible tourism. If you think you are that voice, you can enter into the contest by sending us your short bio and a 250-word description on why you should be awarded the Green Microphone Award and how you are helping to promote responsible tourism. Also if you have had an experience of a guide that was along that line, do nominate them for the award. We want the stories of tourist guides, who are transforming people’s lives through their guidance, to be heard. Please send nominations and applications to:


G-GUIDES is a private research institute, founded in 2010 with the main purpose of sharing the knowledge and ideas in the field of sustainable and responsible tourism.

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