Tour operators have welcomed a change in EU law which will mean that tourist guides will no longer have to pass local exams and provide evidence of professional experience in order to lead tours.
 
The biggest impact will be on Italy and Greece, where local guides must pass specific local exams in order to lead a group.
 
However, following a change in EU directive 2005/36 on the recognition of qualifications, tourists guides in member states will no longer have to pass exams. The ruling will come into force in November.
 
Cosmos Tourama head of coach product David Binns said: “It will help the consumer, because the package price should come down as guiding costs will be lower. I’m sure visitors will appreciate having one guide as opposed to changing guides with each city.”
 
Contiki Holidays sales manager UK and Europe Rachael Harding added: “We’ve always used local guides in the big cities as we feel they provide us with more interesting information. The law change means our own guides can provide more information over and above the local guides.”