Lighthouse Travel & Tours Wins Silicon Valleys Best Guided Tour
did San Joses Lighthouse Travel & Tours win the Silicon Valley
Concierge Associations 2004 Hospitality Award for Best Guided Tour
in Silicon Valley?
The answer: people, people, people. From partnerships with award-winning
local tour guides to the personalized services provided for each tour
group, Lighthouse brings people and ideas together to guide the way to
San Jose and to bring home the 2004 award for Best Guided Tour.
is a giant leap forward for tourism in the Silicon Valley,"
said Donna West, founder and owner of Lighthouse Travel & Tours.
the award by thanking strategic partnerships with Guided Solutions tour
guides and other local specialists and historians, as well as the companys
foundation of creating personalized services through research and direct
contact with clients to ensure efficient, top-quality tours.
us for a complete listing of Hospitality Awards. Donna West is available
for limited interviews.
May 11, 2004
Travel & Tours Wins Silicon Valleys Best Guided Tour
SAN JOSE, Calif. The San Jose travel and tourism industry was given
a huge boost on Tues. April 27, when the Silicon Valley Concierge Association
announced the 2004 winner for Best Guided Tour: Lighthouse Travel &
"This is a giant leap forward for tourism in the Silicon Valley,"
said Donna West, founder and owner of Lighthouse, based in Santa Clara.
"Six years ago when I asked people if they would like a tour of San
Jose, they said no way. But I believed there was a market and now these
visions are becoming reality."
West celebrated the achievement by thanking several strategic partnerships
made in 2003: Guided Solutions and Dulcey Branch (Best Tour Guide 2003,
Silicon Valley Concierge Association); wine tasting specialists in the
Santa Cruz Mountains, Carmel and Monterey; Santa Clara Valley; California
gold country historians; and event planner, California Special Occasions.
From these collaborations, West created a huge variety of small group
tours, from South Bay wine tasting to their most popular, the San Jose
to San Francisco driving and walking tour.
"My best ideas have come from listening to what people wanted,"
said West. Along with these strategic partnerships she has built Lighthouse
on a strong foundation of customer service. As a result, each tour has
an individual flair, depending on the tastes of the client and the personal
stories provided by the local tour guide.
"We let the groups determine what they want to do, which is different
from the larger tour companies," West added.
West begins researching destinations months in advance to keep the tours
up-to-date and to cater to each clients specific needs. This year
Lighthouse has expanded to include an overnight tour to the Historic Gold
Country and extended night tours to Bodega Bay and Sonoma, Hearst Castle
and Solvang. In the future, Lighthouse will go international with "April
in Paris", a week-long tour escorted by a French-speaking tour guide.
With all of its success, Lighthouse remains true to its roots, emphasizing
tours that reveal the rich history of San Jose to visitors who are unaware
of all there is to see in the South Bay. Wests past experience working
in high tech firms makes her a perfect host for clients who are in town
for a conference or working at high-tech companies and want to learn more
about the history of modern Silicon Valley.
"I am always in the process of planning future tours," she said,
"but I am primarily in the business of creating memories."
The two runners-up for the award were guided tours at Intel Museum and
the Computer History Museum. West includes both of these in her local
tours of San Jose.
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Lighthouse Travel & Tours
Lighthouse Travel & Tours is a registered seller of travel in
California that specializes in creating personalized services for San
Jose and Greater San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors. The dedicated
staff works with clients from the planning stages to the event follow-up
to ensure the most efficient and high quality tours.
Founder and owner of Lighthouse Travel & Tours, Donna West, has lived
in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. She is certified by the
International Tour Management Institute and has degrees in Education and
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