October 24, 2020

Tour guides warn of their “extinction” due to intrusion and the pandemic


Tourist guides in Valencia.
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Quality-assured tourism is in danger of extinction. This was announced by the members of the Association of Official Tourist Guides of the Valencian Community, who yesterday gathered in front of the Valencia City Council on the occasion of World Tourism Day to claim their profession and make visible a situation that has been getting worse for years. “We have lost our job. We cannot blame anyone for the pandemic, but we came from a very bad situation that has been drastically worsened by the covid crisis. We have been fighting labor intrusion for years but since March we have had zero income, ”said Ana Galera, a member of the association. “We are 100% dependent on this because we are autonomous. Although it is World Tourism Day, today there is nothing to celebrate, “she lamented.

No public official attended the rally. «We do not want to go against anyone, but to defend our profession“Galera pointed out. The platform asks that the administrations dedicate more efforts to prosecute the labor intrusion that reduces the sector. “There are many guides who have not passed the corresponding exams, so the visitor, when hiring them, do not know if what he is telling them is true or not,” he denounced.

Given the difficulty of many families traveling, Galera recommended taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the local environment. «People have to put an official guide in their life. We can still visit our cities, as well as towns in our province, and discover new things. It is important that visitors ask the guide for accreditation. That it is official means that it has been trained and that it is constantly being recycled to give a better service to the visitor “, specified the spokesperson of the platform.

The tour guides claimed through a statement that they make up one of the economic engines of Spain, now depleted by the pandemic. “Tourism has been for decades one of the economic engines of our country, being vital in several regions, especially ours, and we regret that a profession that has provided a showcase in which to show off the best of our land, as well as to have promoted our destinations and products is succumbing to the current situation. To the challenges that we already faced as tourism professionals, lack of tax facilities, bureaucratic complexity, intrusion, unfair competition, lack of regulation … The crisis of the covid-19 which is supplying the coup de grace to the profession and way of life of hundreds of professionals whose objective is to share the best of our land with our visitors.

The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, underlined the Government’s commitment to the recovery of tourism, an objective that it considers central in government management. «Tourism is key for Spain and a priority on the Government’s agenda»Sánchez wrote on his Twitter account.

Tourism is mired in the worst crisis in its history, with almost 400,000 million euros lost in the first half of the year and a drop in international travel that will be around 70% in this 2020 marked by the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Spain, the second world destination, has registered an average occupancy of 33% between January and August, with a drop of 72.4% until July in the volume of international tourist arrivals.

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