The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is preparing to make critical changes to the Tourist Guiding Profession Law. According to the regulation, it will now be possible to become a guide in Turkey without knowing a foreign language. Additionally, the obligation to have a tourist guide on tours that do not include the promotion of historical and touristic sites is also being removed.

In summary, the key changes to be made in the law are as follows:

Foreign language guides can also provide explanations in Turkish upon the request of tour participants, while Turkish guides can only provide explanations in Turkish.

Tour guides will face penalties if they provide benefits to themselves or to someone they refer to by taking participants to certain establishments without their knowledge and consent. In this context, guides who commit this act twice within five years will face temporary suspension from the profession, and those who commit it three times will be permanently expelled from the profession.

Tourism is a key sector for the Turkish economy – Narin Tourism is a key sector for the Turkish economy – Narin

The base fee for Turkish guides will not be less than 75% of the guide base fee determined by the Ministry.

Those conducting unlicensed guiding will be fined between 5,000 and 100,000 Turkish Liras. Similarly, individuals who take participants to specific establishments without their knowledge and consent will also be fined between 5,000 and 100,000 Turkish Liras.

The Ministry will inspect professional organizations and their subsidiaries through inspectors and controllers at least once every 3 years.

The 'guiding identity card' will be replaced by a 'license'. Licensed guides will be required to provide documentation of their foreign language proficiency within 5 years at the latest. Guides who fail to provide this documentation can continue to work as Turkish guides but will not be able to work as guides in a foreign language.

Those who did not participate in or failed the examination conducted by the Ministry will have the opportunity to apply to the Ministry within one year, meet the necessary conditions, and pass the examination conducted by the Ministry to be admitted to the profession.

The obligation to have a tourist guide during activities whose main purpose is not to promote historical and touristic sites will be eliminated.

The licenses of travel agencies that provide benefits to themselves or to someone they refer to by taking participants to specific establishments without their knowledge and consent will be revoked by the Ministry.

“Condemning Turkish tourism to poor quality”

Hakan Eğinlioğlu, the President of the Tourist Guides Association (TUREB), stated that all guides are reacting to the draft law. Eğinlioğlu said, "Both I, the chamber presidents, and all guides are reacting to this draft law. This draft law was referred directly to the Parliament Tourism Commission without being presented to us. This is not even in line with customs."

Eğinlioğlu, stating that with the law amendment, Turkish tourism is being condemned to poor quality, said, "When they divide TÜRSAB, the institution will consist of only 4-5 thousand agencies that organize cultural tours. Can't these agencies find a guide among the 13 thousand guides? Most of these are already small-budget agencies. They are agencies set up with one table and two chairs, small-budget agencies. They choose small hotels and small restaurants, and they want to hire guides cheaply. Cheapening is something that brings about poor quality. Therefore, they are condemning Turkish tourism to poor quality and planning to offer an unqualified guide instead of a qualified one to future domestic and foreign tourists. How will we enter the top 3 tourism destinations in the world with this tourism?" he said.

Editor: Haber Merkezi