5 good reasons to prefer a real licensed tour guide to a free tour to discover Bordeaux

Maybe I am lobbying for myself , will you tell me?  Maybe...

But in the right now, I would like to give you here 5 good reasons to prefer a real professional and licensed guide to a free tour to discover the beautiful city of Bordeaux.

I don't fight against the modernity era , I fight against undeclared and illegal work! 

  1- It's just such a shame to travel so far and to stay outside the monuments!

And yes, you are not explained in the list of pros... but the "free tours" are not directed by REAL PROFESSIONAL GUIDES. Therefore, they do not have the precious badge: the professional guiding license that allows us to guide in historic monuments and museums. With a "free tour", you will only see the entrance gate of the cathedral and perhaps also the door to the Fine Arts Museum. I'll guide you inside!

2 - Because there will always be bakers and bread salers - Because you deserve a true certified guide!

It's the same thing! Both can sell bread but one of them is not allowed to claim himself to be a baker... Well it's the same here, one of them can't claim to be a professional guide!  This is false and very disrespectful for those who took the time to train and graduate!

You don't ask a shoemaker to sell fish and you don't entrust your blood tests to a bus driver!

Yes, I know that free tours providers tell us that they do this activity out of passion and not at all for profit;
But would you entrust your will to a real notary or to anyone who does it out of passion and supposedly for free?
And then, honestly... does that make me less passionate?
 

Yes, there are qualified guides who are boring but there are also some thrilling ones! Yes, there are very competent non-official guides, but they never have bothered to graduate or simply to officially validate their field experience and knowledge.

 Travelers satisfaction free tours vs licensed guide

3 - Most of free tours often have only their name for free!

Yes.. yes...I know, it's free and without any kind of obligation... but the truth is that from the moment you start the tour, your sensibility will be appealed, explaining that tips are the only source of income for your friendly interlocutor!

So in fact.... You may feel a bit obligated anyway... so IT IS NOT THAT FREE in real! I would even say better: a real guided tour organized with a REAL GUIDE starting from a tourist office for example, costs you almost the same, at the end.

4 - Because we have to get involved in the local economy as much as possible when we travel

When you travel, you get involved in the local economy by going to hotels, restaurants or shops; you take part in the maintenance of the place by paying the tourist tax and that is normal.

When you choose a "free tour", you donate a small amount of cash which, in most cases, will never be declared to the French tax authorities. Therefore, you completely disengage yourself from your involvement and investment in the local economy of the visited area. A little extremist purists among friends of mine would talk about  "neo-colonization" there...

When you choose a guided tour with me, I will remit 20% of the amount you have paid to french tax authorities (it is VAT!), a small part of it will cover my social security contributions (yes it's mandatory when you run a real business) and another part will be sent via a paycheck to our dear Public Treasury (isn't it a sweet name for our Tax authority?) or the insurance company (please check below in the "Bonus")

 2018 02 18 professional badge licensed guide Marie HALLIER

5 - Because this is your project and you deserve us to match your expectations!

Yes, yes... I'm paid to guide you. So even if you're 10 minutes late, I'll still be waiting for you.
It's my job... I don't do that amateurishly. I learned to grasp at first glance your often unspoken demands and I also learned to adapt; I know that not everyone has an overwhelming passion for the Fauvist painters or sculptors of medieval Bordeaux.

Being a guide means constantly updating your skills to be able to answer all your questions about most varied topics. This will not necessarily be the case with a young student, who is obviously very friendly, but who arrived in the region just six months ago.

6 - Small bonus

Let's re-contextualize the story: a free tour is a lambda guy/girl who assures you that he/she is the best person to guide you on your next visit because he/she knows the city well, since it's a "LOCAL", yes it's THE fashionable word.... He often prides himself on knowing all the anecdotes in order to make you enjoy the best places and addresses.

At first sight, it sounds pretty good... But where the problem is that :

"GUIDING" is a REGULATED PROFESSION in France

(Yes yes with this text I am sure you will be glad to read :
JO - Decree No. 2011-930 of 1 August 2011 on qualified persons for guided tours of museums and historical monuments.)

So what? Administrative obligations for professional guides and not for "free tours"? Well, you can imagine that this regulation imposes a few lines on us anyway:

  • First, you must pass the exam that allows us to obtain the famous GUIDING LICENSE.
  • Then we have to purchase a RCP (professional indemnity insurance) which will cover us in case of a glitch during the guided tour, what about the "free tour"?

After all that, amateurism or professionalism, it's up to you!