Marin Miletić (Bridge) said a bill of amendments to the law on tourism services would allow foreign guides to present Croatia without sufficient education. “Such a presentation will be superficial and disorganised, and the tourist experience incomplete.”
Hrvoje Zekanović (Sovereignists) said what guides said was important but that the way they spoke about a locality, whether it was with love, a stand and empathy, was much more important.
Katica Glamuzina (Social Democrats) said the bill did not take into accounts the remarks made by tourist guides and professionals, while her party colleague Boška Ban Vlahek said it destroyed the profession of Croatia’s 5,500 guides.
Mato Franković of the ruling HDZ said that although he felt that Croatia should align with European regulations, the bill was not fully worked out regarding tourist guides.
“It’s not unimportant who will guide groups in protected localities and how, nor is it enough to pass an exam in a couple of months and guide, for example, the sightseeing of Dubrovnik,” he said, announcing amendments for stricter educational requirements for foreign guides.
Marijana Balić (HDZ) said it was important to prevent a potential misinterpretation of Croatian history and that special attention should be paid to localities of special respect such as Vukovar.
Only guides who pass Croatian language exam at protected localities
Tourism Ministry state secretary Tonči Glavina said only licenced guides who pass a Croatian language exam would be able to work in Croatia’s 550-plus protected localities.
“That course will be available only in Croatia and the exam will be only in Croatian in front of a commission including our tourist guides,” he said, defending the bill.
He said that guides coming with a group, from Germany for example, would be able to guide the group only in a general public area, talking about Split or Šibenik in general, for example, while only licenced guides would be allowed to work in protected localities.
The only change the bill brings is that foreign guides will not have to pass a special exam for Croatia’s 21 counties but for regions, or another model will be used, Glavina said.
About 70 foreign guides stay in Croatia annually and they do so for two to three weeks, he said.
The law on tourism services is being amended due to two violations of EU law regarding package travel and the regulation of the profession of tourist guide.
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