Choose Your Favourite Fair Deal Tour
25/04/2012 | 0 comments
The European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) is launching two new tourism awards this spring in order to promote tours that offer a fair deal.
Members of the public - from the up market ‘discerning traveller’ to the ‘Lonely Planet-hugging’ back packer – have until the end of September to nominate their favorite candidate based on a memorable personal experience.
Awards will be made in two categories:
- Best Fair Deal Tour 2012 and
- Best Fair Deal Tour Operator/ Travel Agency 2012.
The winners will be announced later this year in November. And the prize for those who win? Apart from the honor and a framed FEG certificate the winners will get free and automatic promotion to thousands of qualified tourist guides spread all over Europe, dealing with potential clients on a daily basis. We do not think that is a bad award. And it is certainly SUSTAINABLE!
These awards are in fact part of a serious effort by FEG – which represents some 60,000 qualified tourist guides in Europe – to raise awareness for what is still sorely lacking in many areas of the tourism industry: transparency, quality, standards and a more sustainable approach.
What is a Fair Deal Tour?
A fair deal tour is a tour that is advertised and sold transparently, explaining exactly what you get and where no one is exploited.
It’s a tour where all those engaged have all the necessary qualifications and a long-term responsible approach to their activity.
Tours of all kinds are eligible to win, walking tours, coach tours, off shore cruise tours, tours by bicycle or on horseback, museum tours, any kind of guided tour as long as it fulfills the criteria set down by FEG, proving that it does indeed offer a ‘fair deal’.
This does not just mean a fair deal for the participants; a genuinely ‘fair deal’ tour offers everyone involved a ‘fair deal’ including those who deliver the tour - the tourist guide and the organizer – as well as those who are affected by it indirectly such as sites and monuments. It also takes into account the effect tourism might have on the cultural and natural heritage and the communities where the tours take place.
Less short-term profit and a more long-term vision; creation of employment, absolutely, but sustainable employment and not just cheap labor without available qualifications, paid only in tips or commission.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, nor are there indeed any truly ‘free tours’.
With the continuing growth of tourism into previously less known areas, often now forming an important part of cities’ and regions’ efforts at reinventing their image, comes a need for an increasing awareness of ‘the other side of the coin’.
Calls for liberalisation and less regulation must not impact negatively on our evermore fragile environment, where history, culture and ecology – as well as tourists and those who guide them - interact as elements of our civilization.
Nominate your own favorite candidate
So let’s be civilized and award those who tread carefully on our planet and offer you a more sustainable, ethical tour but also one that is wonderfully entertaining! Apart from the Best Fair Deal Tour 2012 you can also nominate the Best Fair Deal Tour Operator / Travel Agency 2012.
Only fee-paying tours and operators and organizers who charge for their services are eligible to win. The deadline for nominations is 30th September 2012.
Download this Press Release in PDF format from the right-hand panel.