International Tourist Guide Day 2016 in Germany with the motto "GRÜNderzeit" - Rediscover your own region!
In 1985, February 21st, the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associatons was founded. Worldwide this day is celebrated as a special day and has become a major promotion day for the professional tourist guides.
In Germany, the members of the National Tourist Guide Association (BVGD) every year decide on a new motto for this day. Local and regional tourist guide organizations across the country then develop new theme tours. The professional tourist guides offer these tours without any fees for the visitors or they ask for donations to support a project in their area. And they seize this opportunity to inform the guests about “The Art of Guiding” – better: about what professional guiding is all about…
The motto in 2016 is a said game and so it is almost impossible to translate into English. The German word “grün” means the colour “green” and the word “Gründer” means “founder” and so it is possible to guide in nature (which is not very green in Germany´s wintertime…). But you can also find this colour in the arts, in all issues in the context of sustainibility and so on…
This annual day has become a well-known platform: locals and other guests, media representatives and managers of local politics or tourism facilities can discover their regions while having fun and feeling the joy of discovery – all introduced and accompanied by “their” local tourist guides!
The joy of training remains an important part of professional activities in addition to the acquired qualification for the region. Tourist guides have a big say in tourism, says BVGD Chairman Dr. Ute Jäger: “Because in their own area, the tourist guides represent their city or region, they are like ambassadors. As such, they serve as a link between touristic offers and strengthen the destination decisively.” In recent years nationwide about 10,000 interested visitors participated in the International Tourist Guide Day, although the day is celebrated in the cold German winter time. Often local institutions or educational institutions open their doors and cooperate free of charge.
78 BVGD members, local and regional associations – from Helgoland to Burghausen, from Trier to Chemnitz – offer 2016 special tours. Maren Richter, who coordinates the International Tourist Guide Day in Germany, appreciates, that many members are very creative in developing new theme tours: “Guests can discover so many new things and since Germany is a country of contrasts and diversity, it is worth to participate in the events! For the tourist guide associations themselves it is also an experience of companionship.”
The central upbeat event for the International Tourist Guide Day in Germany this year takes place on Saturday, February 20th in Worpswede (Lower Saxony). After the welcome and opening ceremony by the BVGD and local representatives, a reception in the “Great Art Show” follows. On 20 and 21 February, the local guides offer tours in the city of Worpswede and to works of art on green paths: to German artists like Rainer Maria Rilke, Heinrich Vogeler and the Modersohns. Moreover, they guide you to the cemetery and the church and will run a typical regional „Boßel-tour“.