Tour Co. Launched

Dixon Plans to Cater to the 'Intelligent Tourist'

Vincent L. Dixon says he never underestimates the intelligence of tourists--at least not those who visit Cambridge and Boston.

What's more, the Boston-native is starting his own company to prove it.

Dixion, who graduated with a degree in history from the Harvard extension school in 1974, announced this week the establishment of The Cambridge Advantage, his new tour and information service.

"People need to really respect the people coming in--but the complexity of life in Boston and Cambridge really hasn't been appreciated, nor has the intelligence of the tourists and the people moving here," says Dixon, a Boston resident.

"What I've decided to do is to create an organization that is a clearing house to provide a range of information that includes tours, historical information, a sense of how transportation and real estate work."


He says he will charge "negotiable" prices to individuals and groups who want guided tours of Boston, Cambridge and surrounding communities.

"I was a history major at the Extension School and had always been thrilled with history and over the years, as friends would visit, I became an unofficial guide for friends and family who had come in from New York and other places," Dixon says. He received tour guide training at from the Cambridge Discovery information service.

Competition in the touring business, especially in Cambridge, has been greater in recent years, most noticeably with the introduction of the $14 Cambridge Trolley Tours leaving from Harvard Square.

But Dixon says he wants to offer more than just the conventional tours. ,

"I'm going to be doing a much broaderapproach--not just Cambridge, not just theparticular history but also something of how lifeworks and the mentality. What is thebackground--social, economic political,historical--that makes a [a city] work?"

For example, Dixon says the economic influenceof East Cambridge--where both the Fig Newtoncookie and the Polaroid camera were invented--isoften neglected in standard tours of the city.

Dixon says he also plans to offer informationservices, including tips on everything from homebuying to local festivals, for new area residents