French tour guides fear 'Uberisation' of their trade


Being a tour guide in the most visited country in the world should be a pretty good job, buoyed by demand at France's numerous tourist attractions. But, after years of losing professional status, guides are now confronting the 'gig economy'. Online tourism platforms impose freelance instead of salaried work. And in the latest innovation, so-called 'free' tours, the tour guide is not even paid. Cécile Andrzejewski reports.

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Tourists love France. More come here than to any other country in the world – 84.5 million of them in 2015 and 82.5 million to 83 million in 2016, and to show them around its picturesque, historical sights there are its tour guides. Their work, however, is starting to come under threat from a decidedly 21st century phenomenon.