Bulgaria’s Tourism Ministry and Consumer Protection Commission are conducting large-scale checks along the country’s Black Sea coast to see if tour guides have the certificates required by law, minister Nikolina Angelkova told journalists on June 28.
“We will be uncompromising towards people who work as guides without a certificate,” Angelkova said.
“The work of the tour guide is extremely important for the image of Bulgarian tourism. These people bear great responsibility – through them our country’s guests are acquainted with its history, culture and lifestyle. It is very much dependent on them whether tourists will return to our country,” she said.
Following on complaints by tour guides about people working without certificates, the ministry and the commission carried out two days of checks, on 15 tour guides leading groups.
Three of the guides were found to be unlicensed and not listed in the National Tourism Register. One was wearing a fake card certifying him to be a licensed tour guide.
Bulgaria’s Tourism Act requires tour guides to be licensed and to have a special card, which may only be issued by the Ministry of Tourism, proving this.
Individuals working as tour guides without certification are subject to a fine of 1000 leva (about 500 euro).
The inspection established that two of the unlicensed tour guides had contracts with tour operators. The companies each face a fine of 2000 leva for hiring unlicensed tour guides.