The Tourist guides get different names in some countries, as tour guides, local guides, tour leaders, heritage cultural interpreters. They are professional guides with a qualification and license that has been given by the administrative authorities where they have their professional activities.
The usual activity of a local guide is to inform and lead those visitors of a B.I.C. (Bien de Interes Cultural) about culture, monuments, art, history, geography, nature, ecology .There is an economic relationship between the visitors and the local guide, always under the control of the local official associations of guides and the tax office authorities.
EN 13809 OF THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDISATION (CEN) Adopted by WFTGA at its Dunblane, Scotland Convention 2003:
A person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate authority.
Most of the local guides are freelance , but in the last years, new economic organisations are very common in this activity as cooperatives, companies s.l.
Most of the Tourist Guides are usually united in private associations, APIT (Acronym of Professional Association of Tourist Guides, frequently used by associations of ourist guides in Spain), in some cases also in Professional Schools (like it happens in Baleares).
The APIT is associated in Autonomous federations, in the case of Andalusia, Federation Andaluca of APIT (F.A.A.P.I.T) that in turn belongs to the Spanish Confederation of Federations and Professional Associations of Guides of tourism (C.E.F.A.P.I.T), this is member of the Federation Europes of Associations of Guides of Tourism (F.E.G) and that lastly it belongs to the World Federation of Associations of guides of Tourism (W.F.T.G.A).
The profession of local guide is under control of the administration since the times of king Alfonso XIII, and it has had different laws, regulations and rules. Nowadays, the autonomous communities are the responsible and competent administrations that give the licenses, control and watch the job of local guide. In other countries of U.E., the activity of local guides is Ander control of the tourist and cultural administrations.
The main problem of this job is called "intrusismo" (the presence of intruders.) Some people, without any qualification or license make the job of local guide, out of the control of police, administration and authorities. In order to prevent this illegal activity and they get in touch with the visitors, official local guides must show their licenc.
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