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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Tour Guides

Aloha Everyone,

Tour guides in Turkey, as in most countries, are required to complete a set of training programs to get their tour guide license. Having said that, the two of us have been approached by devious individuals offering their tour guide services.

Majority of tourists to Istanbul usually stay for 1-3 days to take in the amazing cross cultures of Europe and Asia. Most popular and affordable are 6-8 hours of walking inclusive of lunch.

As I walked along a group of English-speaking tourists, I overheard the tour guide asking if they have any questions. This group consisted of mostly senior citizens not accustomed to walking. A woman who seemed in pain and was dragging herself on her companion’s arm shouted back, “How long before our bus picks us up?” Walking tours are usually priced between €25 to €75 per person (about US $25 to $75 in today’s exchange rate).

Official tour guides are easily spotted by the item they hold up such as paddle, flag or my favorite, umbrella, which comes handy in most type of weather. There is a strong push for shopping at certain stores because they are willing to give guides up to 30% commission.

Aloha -- Cathi