The Cantabria Official Guides Association has been working for decades to defend and protect the profession of tourist guide, which was finally regulated by the Government of Cantabria’s Ministry of Tourism in Decree 32/1997, of 25 April, which set out guidelines for our activity.
Our group was founded 30 years ago, when a small group of professionals came together, convinced of the need to protect a profession that would have a decisive role in the development of tourism in Cantabria. After some years, when other associations were formed, the two main groups in the sector merged in 2013, joining forces to achieve a single objective: to ensure the role of the tourist guide receives rightful recognition as one of the key elements in the region’s tourist industry.
Since 2013, APIT Cantabria has worked tirelessly to defend the profession and its professionals, and their key role in promoting tourism in our region, a major driving force for Cantabria’s economy.
What began as a small group of professionals trying to fight for the proper recognition of a profession, undervalued and often ignored until then, today has over 40 members, thanks to the hard work of all those involved. They are mostly self-employed, specialising in different sectors, and their number has not ceased to grow in recent years, as more and more professionals become interested in being part of the most important and representative association in the region today.
APIT Cantabria is also affiliated to the national and international federation, as the defence of our profession goes far beyond our borders, especially in such unsettled times as these, when the so-called “collaborative economy” and crises like the one we are currently facing threaten the survival of one of the most beautiful professional vocations.
We work closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Santander City Council, enabling us over the years to offer an intense programme of promotion, publicity and training with the sole aim of maintaining standards of excellence in the quality of the services offered by our members. The activities we organise are not exclusive and are open to other professionals who are not members, thus publicising APIT Cantabria’s activity and opening the door to generalised improvements in the sector. We are also conscious of our responsibility to the society we are part of, and we help to support and raise awareness of groups and associations that need everyone’s help in promoting their social work (the Josep Carreras Foundation and Obra San Martín, for example).
Reflecting this philosophy of sharing knowledge and experiences, and in gratitude to all those who help to make it possible, the “Faros APIT Cantabria” scheme was launched. The main aim of these awards was and is to recognise the work of institutions and individual professionals in promoting the destination, producing reference material and protecting our resources. Over the years “Faro” award winners have included Miguel Ángel Aramburu, Benito Madariaga, José Luis Casado Soto, Botín Centre, ADIC, the Royal Palace of La Magdalena, the National Museum and Research Centre of Altamira, Joaquín Echegaray, and Daniel Sánchez Arévalo.