Please sign in to post.

Tipping for Free Walking Tour

What is a customary tip for a free two hour walking tour with a tour guide.

Thanks!

Posted by
9110 posts

Five euro per person would seem okay.

How much would a paid tour of the same quality cost?

Posted by
6148 posts

Of course they aren't 'free' -- taking the service and not tipping is user behavior; the person giving the tour actually ends up in the financial hole after they pay for the referral. BUT what they are also is scab labor -- undercutting the livelihood of certified guides who have done the preparation and testing to be official guides. The way it works is that these scab guides have to pay for the tourists who are referred to them for their service to the agency that advertises the 'free walks'. They pay per head and can keep the tip money above that. So agencies are able to make a profit offering a tourist product to undercut certified and licensed guides.

Posted by
9110 posts

Actually there are many places where the free tour guides are the only service available, compete with no one, and are not scab labor.

Posted by
7969 posts

If that is the only tour company available in a city, then that is something different then when they are in a city where other tour companies are operating.

Many of their labor practices are shady/illegal and they have quite a few court cases against them for employee abuse. So, if you tip them nothing, then the tour guide is in the hole. Why aren't they up front with that information, that they charge the tour guide for each person that begins the tour? That is why they take a group photo at the beginning of each tour.

Posted by
16877 posts

The guide leading your tour pays a boss for each person present at the start of the tour. If you don't tip, they lose money, as others said. In his Barcelona chapter, Rick suggests tips of 5 euros for a bad guide, 10 for a good guide, and 15 for a great one. Other tours available from the Tourist Office in the same city cost 15 euros flat fee. See also this article on Rick's blog.

Posted by
6148 posts

If one is going to use this service, I think it is unconscionable to tip less than 10 Euro a head. With 5, they are pretty much working for free.

Posted by
9110 posts

Simple math:

Ten people on a tour at five euro per head. That's fifty euro, or twenty-five per hour.

A plumber averages about eight euro an hour for a forty hour week.

Moving right along . . . .

Posted by
6362 posts

"Ten people on a tour at five euro per head. That's fifty euro, or twenty-five per hour"

Well, I guess how much they actually earn then depends on how much per head they are paying their "boss". And since they probably don't work 40 hrs/wk it's not much of a comparison to a plumber's salary.