After the amendment by the Government Council of Law 05-12 relating to tourist guides at the end of March, to extend the deadline for bringing certain categories of professionals into compliance, a new version of the same law is coming to parliament. This is the extension of the deadline for the regularization of the situation of people who have experience in the field, but who operate in the informal sector.
In its article 31, law 05-12 governing the profession of tourist guides stipulates: “To As a transitional measure and for a maximum period of two years from the date of publication of this law in the BO, it may be proceeded according to the procedures set by regulation, to the issuance of approvals to persons who do not meet the conditions of training and professional skills provided for in article 6 of this law, but having skills acquired in the field“.
Presented by Fatim-Zahra Ammor, Minister of Tourism, Bill 19.22 aimed at modifying the provisions of Article 31 of Law No. 05-12 on the organization of the profession of tourist guides was approved by the CG end of March. The aim is to extend the transitional period for the regulation of the situation of people with skills in the field, from 2 to 8 years, without the condition of training provided for by law, which extends the period until March 7, 2024.
With a view to the resumption of tourist activity, this extension will allow time for the department of Fatim-Zahra Ammor to organize the professional examination which will allow false guides » with experience of practicing in the formal sector.
Good news for tourist guides who have suffered for a long time during the period of covid-19 due to the cessation of tourist activity, says Lahcen Haddad, former Minister of Tourism.
” The extension of the deadline for bringing certain categories of professionals into compliance is a good thing. That said, the covid-19 crisis has clearly lifted the veil on the problems faced by guides, most of whom have no stable income, such as the SMIG, which allows them to operate even during low seasons, or a fund which helps them with the contribution, why not, of the private sector”, maintains Lahcen Haddad.
Lack of supervision and training harms the profession
In Morocco, the profession of tourist guide is not very well supervised. The lack of associations and federations, or of financial stability, pushes the latter to drift or even to malicious practices.
According to Lahcen Haddad, and for a better supervision of tourist guides, there must be a better strengthening of the Federation of guides, so that it can carry out this work with the aim of enhancing the profession and allowing those who operate in the informal sector to join the formal sector.
“The law is there, but we need a little more supervision. There must also be a real association with people who can raise the level, in addition to the fact that associative work remains very important to overcome inequalities between regions“, says the expert.
Indeed, article 17 of law 05-12 stipulates that ” in each of the regions, tourist guides are required to form a professional association bringing together guides working independently, guides working as employees and tourist guide companies, governed by the provisions of Dahir No. 1 -58-376 of 3 Joumada 1 1378 (November 15, 1058) regulating the right of association, as amended and supplemented and those of this law“.
But the reality is quite different. Regional disparities mean that these associations almost never see the light of day. Former Istiqlalian deputy, Lahcen Haddad rightly points the finger at this serious regional imbalance that Morocco is experiencing with regard to tourist guides.
” When we take the region of Marrakech or Tangier, the tourist activity is more important than Fez or Meknes for example, which means that most guides are concentrated in these two big cities.“, he says.
The former Minister of Tourism does not fail to mention the bad practices of certain tourist guides with the complicity of travel agencies, and this lack of supervision, training and financial means.
” Some travel agencies do not want their customers to buy anywhere and in any bazaar. They therefore agree with guides to take them only to tourist sites for visits. But for everything that is shopping, they make sure that they shop with their friends and relatives who give them commissions on each transaction.“, explains Lahcen Haddad who believes that the low remuneration or even the unavailability of a fixed salary, unfortunately make tourist guides resort to these practices and are always looking for commissions from traders and bazaars.
This is why the former Minister of Tourism recommends ” raise the standard of living of tourist guides so that they are not constantly looking for commissions, which is precisely damaging their reputation“, while reviewing their historical knowledge.
” At the time, we offered training to the guides during a program with historians, but they didn’t really appreciate it, taking it as an insult. While we are all looking for learning and knowledge. The goal was to enrich their already acquired knowledge, with purely historical knowledge so that they could do their job well and give a good image of our country.“, concludes Lahcen Haddad.