25 Aug, 2018 @ 15:58
1 min read

Woman threatened with €600,000 fine for offering tours of her village in Spain

Vilafames, Valencia
Vilafames, Valencia

A TOUR guide app has called in lawyers after a woman was threatened with a €600,000 fine for offering guided tours of her Spanish village.

Susana Meseguer, 50, was making up to €60 per month by using the app GuruWalk and by posting small ads for tours in local shops.

Meseguer, who lives in Vilafames in Valencia, signed up to GuruWalk, which connects tourists to tour guides, when she lost her job in May.

But the Valencia government has now sent her a letter demanding she cease all tour guiding activity as she lacks authorisation, and that if she continues she could face a fine of between €100,000 and €600,000.

“We are currently with our lawyers to solve this issue,” a GuruWalk spokesman told the Olive Press: “but the amount of the fine looks disproportionate to us.”

Official tour guide groups argue GuruWalk – a Valencia-based site – is degrading the profession.

Meseguer, 50, told El Pais that she has found ‘her place in the world in Vilafamés’, but has succumbed to the pressure and left the GuruWalk platform and removed her adverts from around the town.

She added: “I was not doing tours from 9am to 9pm every day, as they said, it was a sporadic thing, some weekends, as a hobby, because I love my village.

“I liked the walks where I would explain information and tell stories, and I would always warn that I was not an official guide. The most I ever made was around €60 in one month. If they had called me I would have cleared everything up, but they never did.”

She also claims that the town hall knew what she was doing, and that the tourist office had even sent her groups when staff couldn’t leave their post.

It comes as other platforms such as Uber and Airbnb have been met with much resistance from authorities across Spain.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

GOT A STORY? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es or call +34 951 273 575 Twitter: @olivepress

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