In its edition of Friday July 24, 2020, p.2 and 3, the newspaper “La Marseillaise” devotes an article on the guide-lecturers who work in the Sud-Paca region. The Provence Guides work on a perimeter that goes from Nice to Montpellier, via Cannes, Toulon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Nîmes. They have various statuses: auto-entrepreneurs, permanent employees, temporary workers, liberal profession. The cruise is an important employer or client for the Provence Guides. Cruises can represent up to 80% of the turnover of Guides Provence, which also work for tourist offices, holiday villages or travel agencies, French or foreign.
1. Situation of the guides in Provence
The guide-lecturers who work in the Sud-Paca region number 700 and are distributed roughly as follows:
- 200 Guides on Marseille and surroundings (13)
- 200 Guides on Nice and surroundings (06)
- 100 Guides on Toulon and surroundings (83)
- 200 Guides in Avignon (84), Hautes-Alpes (05) and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)
The guides have various statuses: self-employed, permanent employees, temporary workers, liberal professions. In the current context, only self-employed and liberal professional guides have visibility. They receive the solidarity fund until January 1, 2021.
Three solutions are offered by Guides Provence and all unions and associations of the profession:
- Continuation of all aid to the profession, whatever the status, until April 1, 2021
- Attachment of the profession of salaried guide to intermittence (annex IV of Pôle Emploi)
- Abrogation of the reform of Pôle Emploi which should come into force on January 1, 2021.
2. Professional guides VS amateur guides
- these are bogus guides that don’t have a business card.
- they noisily invest the public space and spread in often fanciful speeches. They annoy professionals who have often worked in the same places for years.
- Tipping = undeclared work on the public highway in concert with platforms hosted abroad (Switzerland and Spain)
3. Professional guides VS volunteer guides
The article mentions another form of unfair competition which is rife in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Cannes and Caen, but which has not yet taken hold in Marseille, that of Greeters. Greeters are volunteers who offer free tours: these are provided by retirees or students. At the end of the free visit, the Greeters ask for donations which, like tips from Free Tours, escape tax and social contributions. Under the guise of volunteering, the Greeters are real companies: they receive donations which are transferred to accounts domiciled in the Netherlands, they receive subsidies (€ 10,000 from the City of Paris) and have their communication expenses covered by certain tourist offices, such as in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Cannes and Caen .
Some tourist offices show exemplary professional behavior and only work with professional guide-lecturers such as the tourist offices of Marseille, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence. More problematic is the attitude of the tourist offices of Cannes and Nice which advertise Greeters, with taxpayer money, on their website.
4. Professional guides get together
The Marseille-Provence tour guides have decided to come together and take action whenever the profession is mistreated by the institutions. It is up to the guides-lecturers to react to each sprain made in their work environment. False guides are often used by unscrupulous tourist operators to put downward pressure on the claims of professionals: this situation must end.
5. Guided Tour Marseille, Aix en Provence, Cassis: Best Seller Guides Provence
The Marseille-Provence Conference Guides have launched an online guided tour booking platform . The goal is to make their offers better known. 31 towns and 50 tours are currently available in the Association’s catalog. Among those who recorded the most reservations, we find:
Guided Tour Marseille: The Old Port and Local Products39 €
Guided Tour Marseille: The Abbey and Local Products (2h)39 €
Cannes Gourmand: History and Local Products (2h)49 €
Nice Food Tour: History and Local Products (2h30)59 €
Guided Tour Marseille: The Cathedral and Local Products39 €
BEST SELLERS – 5 walking tours in Nice (Private Guide) ***179 €
Avignon Private Guide (2h)299 €
Aix en Provence Private Guide (2h)179 €
Guided Tour: Aix en Provence and Cezanne29 €