January 28, 2012 Interview a Tourist Interviewing a tourist was a fairly easy task for me because I work among tourist all the time. Recently I got a server assistant job at a restaurant downtown called The Macintosh. We are a relatively new restaurant, only being about 4 months old, but we have a good reputation among the restaurant community at the time being. With a combination of some marketing, great service and food we have people calling our restaurant all day making future reservations.
Hotel concierge’s in Charleston do a great job at recommending our restaurant to tourists when they come in to visit Charleston and because of this I decided that it would be an easy environment to interview a couple tourists at the bar when the restaurant had slowed down and I was done working my shift. I worked Sunday brunch and conducted interviews after my shift at about 3 pm at The Macintosh. The first couple I had interviewed was sitting at the corner of the bar and I pulled up a chair next to them and conducted the interview.
The guests were very willing to help me out with answering questions so it made it an easy environment to talk in. These guests were a husband and wife from Boston, Massachusetts. They had visited Charleston several times because their daughter had recently enrolled in the CofC. Because the couple had been to Charleston before they did not need to look up very many things before booking their flights to fly into Charleston.
They had already booked their favorite hotel (The Charleston Place) but something that the husband seemed particularly fond of about the city was the dining options. To help him determine which restaurants he should make reservations at he spent some time on UrbanSpoon. com. One aspect of Urbanspoon that he did explain that was very helpful was the “Talk of the Town” section under the city of Charleston. He went on to tell me that he picked most of his restaurant choices from that specific section.
Luckily my restaurant was on that list so he decided to give us a try. When I asked them what they had liked about Charleston so far the husband said, “I enjoy being in a city that has so much to offer in terms of entertainment and dining. Whether it be going to a great restaurant like FIG and later end up at bar on the Market or even grabbing a quick bite at somewhere like Dell’z Deli and going to the Music Farm for a concert.
No matter what, when your in Charleston and you want to take a night out, there will always be a place downtown where you can find a good time. ” This couple seemed to love the night life of the town and one of the only complaints they had about the city was that the bars should be open later. The second couple that I had approached at the restaurant was from the complete other side of the country. This couple was from Eugene, Oregon and it had been their first time making the trip out to the low country and visiting Charleston.
The wife was a history professor at the University of Oregon and generally teaches a couple classes in American History. This spring semester she is taking off from teaching and planning on traveling. Charleston was just one of their spots on their long journey traveling the US. The couple had used Expedia. com to find hotel deals in Charleston. The search terms they chose to use were, “Cheap Charleston Hotels”. The couple went on for several minutes about how much they enjoyed the history that surrounded Charleston. For history buff’s like ourselves it’s a great place to come and visit because being here we almost feel like we are living through a lot of the monumental historic events that occurred in this very city. ” As I was speaking to them I could tell how passionate they were for history. For people like that to be in a town like ours it really excites them. Another aspect of the town that they commented on was the idea of “Southern Hospitality”. They were explaining to me that they have heard of the idea of “Southern Hospitality” but had never traveled to a place where people really acted in that way.
Something the wife said toward the latter part of our conversation was, “We have had great interactions with other people in this town, whether it be talking to another couple at the bar, or just asking some stranger for directions on the street, most everybody treats other people with respect. ” How everyone treats eachother around town is something that tourists definitely pick up on. It makes them feel at home and more comfortable being in an environment that may be a little out of their comfort zone just because it’s not their home town and they are not used to their surroundings.