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See It on a Segway

Perhaps no other technological innovation since the invention of the motorcoach has affected the city tour industry as much as the creation of the Segway. The so-called “human transporters” have swept onto the tour scene over the past 10 years, offering tour companies a high-tech and highly attractive way of showing visitors the sights of their cities.

Segways use an intricate system of gyroscopes and motors to move travelers around on a two-wheeled platform. They are controlled using the natural balance of the rider’s body and are capable of moving faster than most people can comfortably walk.

The technology has been implemented in many different fields, including outdoor sports and law enforcement, but has proven especially innovative in tourism. Segway tour companies have sprouted up in nearly every major tourist destination in the United States and continue to grow in popularity.

Most Segway tours begin with a short orientation session, during which guides instruct participants on how to operate the machines and give them some practice in maneuvering in a controlled environment. Once everyone is comfortable on their vehicles, it’s off to explore the destination on two wheels. Many tours also employ radio-powered headphones, which allow riders to hear the guide’s commentary even if they’re at the back of the convoy.

Segways allow city tours to get much closer to important sites than bus tours do and provide more speed and comfort than walking tours. If your group is adventurous and open to new experiences, a Segway tour might be just the ticket for your next sightseeing excursion.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.