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Published on : Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The president of World Federation of Tourist Guide Association, Felicitas Wressnig recently stated that the tout menace is a global problem, in order to earn good name and money, the tourist places should give ample training to their guides.
Wressnig, who is the head of the Vienna-based organisation, said, “Guides are not only persons who give a narrative to a place, but also help in building the infrastructure of a tourist destination, and thus play a major role in the economy. It is tourists who come for the second or third time to a destination who spend more money. This happens when they get good guides who help them savour their stay and make it memorable.”
She also added that the tout problem is a global menace, and it is not restricted to India alone, “They harm tourism. It’s awful. It is repeat tourism which brings in more money. When tourists visit the place for the second or third time, he or she is done with the primary sight-seeing and is there to enjoy the stay. And in that case they spend a lot more than on the first visit. Cruise is the largest growing industry in tourism in the world. Last year it grew by 6%. Half of the cruisers were repeaters.”
Giving the example of a study by UN World Tourism Organization on adventure tourism, she said that out of every 100 dollars spent at a place, on the spot only 10 dollars are kept. She said in order to increase the numbers, they need to employ better guides.
According to Wressnig’s, guides should stay away from accompanying tourists to shops. From her 51 years of wisdom in the profession, she said, “I don’t take commission and I don’t like it, but in many countries, guides don’t earn enough money, so they are dependent on commissions. They don’t have any regular job and insurance, so it becomes a necessity.”
While discussing about the relationship between tour operators and guides, she stressed on the importance of better understanding. She added, “Tour guides are not the only source of getting assignments,”