The Profession of Tourist…Guide

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Several years ago, I recall how perplexed a clerk of the local Chamber of Commerce was when trying to classify my profession of tourist guide for bureaucratic reasons. “Are you a merchant? A teacher? A travel agent? Well then, tell me, what are you exactly? There’s no such thing as your profession in the commercial sector!” Finally, after months of queries (yes, that’s right, not days or weeks, but months!), I learned that tourist guides fell under the category of craftsmen/artisans. At first, this classification puzzled me and then it filled me with pride. According to the Italian encyclopedia, Treccani, the craftsman/artisan is he or she who creates, produces, and offers a quality product, often original, as opposed to those products that are industrially and mass-produced. The prefix of artisan derives from the word ‘art’. Our art, that of...