“Tourist guides help discover, identify, promote and strengthen the endogenous potentials of a region.”
(Dr. v. Kieseritzky, BVGD Vice President + Head of Commission for Professional Training (KBB))
Tourism policy is not an issue only for a certain department or a political level. Rather, it is a cross-cutting issue that requires cooperation in many areas. Often times, the political institutions and partly also the actors in the tourism sector do not meet the needs of our profession. Even if they are concerned with the conditions of the tourism industry or promote specific measures, e.g. for rural development or barrier-free travel – they largely ignore the qualitative requirements in the field of professional tourist guiding.
This fact is particularly unsatisfactory, because the professional tourist guides contribute in an outstanding way to a continuous development and positive perception of tourism – provided federal and regional institutions support them. Tourist guides fulfill a cross-cutting task for the regional economy and culture: In direct interaction with the visitors, guides convey the profile of urban or rural areas, link the different economic, cultural and environmental needs of the region and greatly help to strengthen the endogenous potential of a region.
Guides develop the qualities of a region not only for visitors (“tourists”), who after a wonderful tour may come back to the region some time in the future. They also provide a service for the local residents (locals, migrants). They arouse emotions, inform and clarify things. In short, they strengthen the bond of the inhabitants of a region and contribute to finding their identity. In times of demographic change, with known consequences – especially for rural and small towns – this contributes significantly to the social and social stability.
These objects may not be hindered by false framework set on federal and European policy level. And they can be made easier to achieve by strong cooperation between all stakeholders at regional and local level (politics, tourism institution, agencies etc.).
The German National Tourist Guide Association therefore calls for:
1. The creation of a single European market in the tourist guide business
2. Fair competition and fair working conditions
3. Consumer protection
4. Sustainable tourism industry
5. Adequate infrastructure and welcoming culture
As a first step, to achieve these goals, we require
– A study on the position and benefits (socially, economically and culturally) of the tourist service providers in the region
– A campaign of “quality-oriented trips“: transparency regarding criteria, sustainable services, sustainable management of social and natural resources.