What is a Tourist Guide
Nature of the Profession
According to the law 710/1977 on Tourist Guides, "A tourist guide is a person accompanying tourists or visitors of the country, foreigners or nationals, leading them and suggesting the sights of the land, the monuments ancient or historical, the works of art of all periods, explaining to them their meaning, destination and history and providing more general information about ancient and modern Greece".
A tourist guide's working license in Greece is obtained after a compulsory and successful 5-semester attending of the Schools of Tourist Guides operated by the Organisation of Tourism Education and Training.
The Lecturer Tourist Guide's contribution to the promotion of Greece and Greek culture is an integral part of his/her job, which has the following features:
a) It presupposes the thorough knowledge of at least one foreign language which makes possible the direct communication with the foreign visitor, whom the Tourist Guide endeavors to initiate into Greek civilization, answering all of his/her questions, explaining history and art and also linking the distant past with present day Greece.
b) It presupposes a broad and deep knowledge not only of history, tradition and art but also of the social structures and the geopolitical context that created them. Tourist Guides acquire this knowledge both through their studies at the School of Tourist Guides and through consistent personal learning and attending of annual training seminars organized by the OTET.
c) It presupposes great discretion and tact when it comes to national issues, without patriotic quick temper but with respect for historical truth, speaking for the interests of Greece and making known the contribution of Greek civilization to the global developments.
For a half or a whole day as well as for four or five or even ten and twenty days, the tourist guide provides HOSPITALITY to visitors in the full meaning of the term, creating a relationship of friendship and trust and making of them friends of Greece.
Furthermore, being often the receiver of the comments and impressions of the foreigners, he/she is the connecting link between our country and them, being called upon to redress misunderstandings and misrepresentations which could discredit Greece all over the world.
d) During rides on tourist coaches from one site another the tourist guide speaks about the climate, the territory, the flora, fauna and the natural resources of the country as well as its economy. He/She promotes and presents the Greek products and describes further regions of Greece, trying to make the foreigners interested in a second or third travel to Greece. He/She presents the Greek language, revealing to the visitors the countless Greek words that they use in their own languages. He/She speaks about Greek music and cuisine.
In short, he/she enlivens the history of the country; his/her living relation with Greece makes him/her, in the foreigners' perspective, 'the person that they know best in Greece, an ambassador inside the borders of the country".