Tourist Guides Protest Against New Regulations

Total Croatia News

The existing rules are bad, but new regulations will lead to an even worse situation, say Croatian tourist guides.

A Trojan horse – this is how Croatian tourist guides describe the latest measure developed by the Ministry of Tourism to equalise their status with the status of international tourist guides travelling to Croatia. Croatian guides have long warned that they are in a different position since, in order to lead groups on protected sites, they must pass an additional professional exam for these protected locations, while foreign guides are not subject to additional conditions, reports Večernji List on 30 June 2017.

The draft of the Law on Tourism Services, which is currently in public consultation, provides for a formal equalisation of the status but also proposes the deletion of all public areas, town squares, forests, parks and similar areas from the list of protected sites.

“So what would then remain on the list of protected sites? Maybe just museums, but perhaps not even them since they are publicly available institutions?” ask the guides.

“We are disappointed. The Ministry of Tourism has promised to accept our request and ultimately protect the travel guide profession. Instead, according to the draft of the law which is undergoing the public consultation period, foreign tourist guides could in the future lead tourist groups in all the places where, according to the previous legislation, we needed an additional exam,” says Marko Sjekavica, president of the largest Croatian association of tourist guides, the Dubrovnik Society of Guides, with 400 members.

“In Dubrovnik-Neretva County, there are protected localities, for example, the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the island of Lokrum, the centre of Cavtat, etc. On the current list of protected sites, you may indeed find locations which do not deserve this status, but there are other sites which should be included in the list, like the island of Mljet. The existing situation is not good, but what is now being proposed is even worse,” says Sjekavica.

The Dubrovnik tourist guides are not the only ones who are disappointed. Strong reactions and protest letters have been announced by guides from along the coast, who believe that the timing of the public consultation period is also suspect. “Public consultation in the middle of summer? In the only time of the year when we work and have a chance to make some money?”


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