2007 Edinburgh, Scotland

To celebrate International Tourist Guide Day, on February 21st the Edinburgh guides put on free walking tours, each lasting around 1˝ hours, covering Edinburgh’s Old Town, New Town and Royal Mile. Tours started from outside the main tourist office on Princes Street, leaving every half hour between 10am and 3pm, making a grand total of 33 tours. Altogether, 28 guides took part, either by taking the tours on the day, distributing publicity leaflets around the city in advance, or by helping to organise and run the day.

We were delighted that Rosalind Newlands, WFTGA World President, found the time to take part in the event and even took two of the tours herself. The event was very well-received, and nearly 200 people took the tours altogether. This comprised a mixture of local people, visitors from around the world, language school students, tour operators, guest house owners and STGA students Appropriately, the tours had a truly international flavour – those taking part came from many different countries, including Australia, USA, Czech Republic, Spain, Slovakia, Belarus, Malaya, China, England, Ireland and Wales. Local press coverage which appeared before the event had urged Edinburgh residents to take the tourist trail round their city for themselves.

Those that did so greatly enjoyed the tours and commented that they had really had their eyes opened and had learned several new things about their city. Some people took 2 or even 3 tours, they enjoyed them so much. Mike Greaves thanked everyone who took part in making the day a success, not forgetting the Tourist Office and Princes Mall management for their co-operation and support in allowing the use of their premises to advertise and run our event. The overall result of the day was that we had many highly satisfied ‘customers’, generated lots of goodwill and publicity for tourist guides and generally raised our profile in the city. The guides who took part enjoyed the experience and are all keen to repeat it again in the future.