The proposed changes in the Tourist Guidance Profession Law have angered guides. The draft eliminates the requirement for guides to be present on buses while introducing the concept of 'Turkish guiding' into the profession. Additionally, the regulation mandates guides to take a language proficiency exam every five years.

Özay Onur, the President of the Nevşehir Guides Chamber (NERO), read the press statement, attended by many guides holding banners and placards.

"Tourism without guides is inconceivable."

Özay Onur expressed the following:

"Our purpose in gathering here today is to inform you about the new regulation proposed in the tourist guidance profession law, which will create an unfair competitive environment, and to express our concerns.
While Law No. 6326 protects guides and defends the rights of us cultural ambassadors, the current draft presented to the parliamentary committee demonstrates a completely anti-guide approach and an effort to build a tourism sector without guides.

"A large army of unemployed will be created."

We, as tourist guides, have been diligently working to introduce our country to domestic and foreign visitors since the Ottoman Empire. The requirement for foreign language proficiency has always been demanded throughout this historical process. With the knowledge gained from mastering a language, we have always presented our country in the best possible way. However, the current draft prevents us from practicing our profession.

By opening the profession of guiding to various graduates under the name of "Turkish guiding," a large army of unemployed will be created. Currently, there are approximately 14,000 Turkish-speaking tourist guides who also speak at least one foreign language, yet the draft creates an employment perception that contradicts the sector's realities.

"The phrase 'guides cannot be found' has been circulated by some malicious agents"

Under pressure from some malicious agents, the phrase 'guides cannot be found' has been circulated. There are enough tourist guides in our country to accommodate both Turkish and foreign groups.

The added provisions to discredit the guiding profession have emerged as a result of the desire of agencies or transportation companies to create a tourism market without guides.

“We are well educated”

However, it must not be forgotten that tourist guides are the only stakeholders in tourism who prove their education through exams. Since the beginning of our university years, we have continuously learned about the world and our country, striving to elevate our profession to a respectable position.

While university graduation and language proficiency were prerequisites to becoming guides, removing the language proficiency requirement will only serve to lower the standards of our profession and Turkish tourism.
Contrary to popular belief, tourist guides do not only guide at museums and archaeological sites. It is a great misconception to think that we only explain a single point of interest.

Tourist guides are individuals who narrate our culture, traditions, beliefs, and social life.

"This regulation will cause great harm to Turkish tourism."

We, as guides, spent so much effort to ensure our guests have the best time in Türkiye. However, this regulation, which seeks to sideline us, will cause great harm to Turkish tourism.

Portraying unlicensed and untrained individuals as guides instead of us, who have dedicated ourselves to this profession, would be a great mistake.

Unfortunately, agencies that see guides as an extra cost have forgotten how important our mission is. We are called cultural ambassadors because we proudly and passionately represent this country!
Furthermore, the additional rules being proposed for tourist guides create the perception that we are conducting tours according to our own wishes.

"We do not want the draft to pass in its current form."

Guides are responsible for conducting tours as outlined by the agency. This has never changed. Guides and agencies have always worked together and prospered together.

Boom in holiday demand in Germany for Türkiye Boom in holiday demand in Germany for Türkiye

This is clearly stated in the existing law

However, creating the perception that guides only take tourists to shopping venues in the new law has deeply saddened us.

Despite the numerous programs offered by universities, graduates without language skills entering the profession will unfortunately negatively affect the quality we have built over the years.

We, as guides, do not want this bill, which seeks to discredit our profession with unjust accusations, to pass in its current form. We want our law to be revised based on merit. We want our state to support us. We want guides, who have long been treated as stepchildren, to be protected by the state.

We demand that this draft, which will harm our profession and Turkish tourism, be revised and made protective by our parliament.

In conclusion, the guide is the face of this country, a cultural ambassador, and a tourism worker. The reputation of the guide is the reputation of the country. Let us not undermine the hard-earned rights of tourism workers and guides!"

Editor: Haber Merkezi