Costa Blanca tourist guide told to pack in or pay up

0
VILAFAMES: Susana Meseguer had to give up her passion for sharing her local knowledge. Photo credit: Shutterstock

AN unauthorised tourist guide was forced to quit or pay a fine of up to €600,000 in a move that will worry people all around Spain.

The regional government of Valencia told Susana Meseguer to stop offering her informative sightseeing walks, or face the consequences.

Finding herself out of work, Susana signed up to GuruWalk, an online platform which brings together tourists and guides all over the world. It is very popular in the tourist hotspots of Spain, and the threat could have wide repercussions on the informal business all around the country.

Tourists have the option to tip rather than pay a set fee. Informal guide Susana claims to have received no more than €60 a month sharing her wealth of knowledge about Vilafames, a village in Castellon where she lives.

But she recently received a letter from the regional government explaining that tourist guides in the region need authorisation, and warned her that unless she stopped giving tours, she could face a possible fine of €100,000 to €600,000.

The 50-year-old, who is extremely passionate about the area she lives in, has now apparently left GuruWalk and removed the cards she had placed in the village tourist office advertising her services.

And she refutes claims made in the letter that she was operating from 9am to 9pm each day, adding that it was more of a hobby for her, the odd weekend at most.

Speaking to Spanish press, Susana said she was saddened that she could not share her ‘excitement to spread the word’ about what Vilafames has to offer.

The tour that she offered is no longer available on GuruWalk, despite very positive reviews.

But on a positive note, Susana has apparently setting up her own business hiring out electric bicycles with GPS that can be used to visit the area’s attractions.

The regional government of Valencia told Susana Meseguer to stop offering her informative sightseeing walks, or face the consequences.

Finding herself out of work, Susana signed up to GuruWalk, an online platform which brings together tourists and guides all over the world. It is very popular in the tourist hotspots of Spain, and the threat could have wide repercussions on the informal business all around the country.

Tourists have the option to tip rather than pay a set fee. Informal guide Susana claims to have received no more than €60 a month sharing her wealth of knowledge about Vilafames, a village in Castellon where she lives.

But she recently received a letter from the regional government explaining that tourist guides in the region need authorisation, and warned her that unless she stopped giving tours, she could face a possible fine of €100,000 to €600,000.

The 50-year-old, who is extremely passionate about the area she lives in, has now apparently left GuruWalk and removed the cards she had placed in the village tourist office advertising her services.

And she refutes claims made in the letter that she was operating from 9am to 9pm each day, adding that it was more of a hobby for her, the odd weekend at most.

Speaking to Spanish press, Susana said she was saddened that she could not share her ‘excitement to spread the word’ about what Vilafames has to offer.

The tour that she offered is no longer available on GuruWalk, despite very positive reviews.

But on a positive note, Susana has apparently setting up her own business hiring out electric bicycles with GPS that can be used to visit the area’s attractions.

© No part of this web site may be reproduced without written permission from the publishers. All rights reserved. Todos los derechos reservados.


LEAVE A COMMENT

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here