Strange tour guides

  • 2004-12-15
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Lithuanian tour guides said they were concerned that Estonian companies might be using incompetent Estonian tour guides to show foreigners around Vilnius.

"Some of our guides noticed that the guide of a Finnish tourist group taped what a competent Lithuanian guide was saying, and the next time used this word for word as his," the Finnish STT news agency reported Audrone Seikiene of the Vilnius Guides Association as saying.

Lithuanian guides claimed the Finns wanted to economize by not hiring local guides and use Estonians instead. The cost of a tour of Vilnius' Old Town in the company of a local guide is about 16 kroons (1 euro) per one bus passenger.

"Estonians work as guides of small Finnish tour companies. Their vision of the other Baltic countries is often quite subjective. Finns should ask for more competent services," Seikiene said.

She said that under Lithuanian law it was possible to fine a guide working without a local license. The fine could be as high as 14,000 kroons.

Jyrki Talonen, CEO of Ikaalisten Matkatoimisto, the biggest Finnish tour company organizing trips to Vilnius, said they used Estonian guides. But he added the latter were competent and could speak Finnish.