This article seeks to illustrate why it is always a better choice to opt for a registered guide to show one around sites of diverse culture and history as opposed to what may seem to be a slightly cheaper option, only at first though, that is the unregistered guide.
Perhaps it would be best by beginning to define the two terms to further emphasize the precise difference in standard one is likely to experience based on one’s choice.
Who is a registered guide?
A registered guide is an individual that has been trained by the government on the subject of the particular sites he opts to offer his services for. Furthermore, there is a license issued by the government for the individual after the completion of this training, to certify him as qualified for the task of guiding tourists around said site.
Who is an unregistered guide?
On the other hand, when one says the words ‘unregistered guide’, there may be a variably large number of people that come under this category. All of them lacking one vital bit of credibility at least: the government’s license. Now, if one were to further inspect this bracket of people, one would come across all sorts of nefarious characters, from skilled con artists that could take you for all you’ve got and then some, to absolutely everyday people looking to make an extra buck and seizing the opportunity of preying on unsuspecting tourists, to blatant criminals who may even go as far as to employ violence in order to profit from their innocent victims.
Whom to choose a registered guide or an unregistered guide?
Merits of Registered guide
A better illustration of the registered guide’s qualifications would perhaps leave little doubt as to which of the two kinds to choose from: a trained guide specializes in the historical, cultural and other significant aspects of the particular site he is endorsing. He has research to serve as education, a license granted to him by the Department of Tourism of the respective government to substantiate the claim, and training that is meant to enable him to communicate to tourists all the vital facts about the site in a comprehensible manner.
Another important fact to note is that the rates charged by a licensed guide are always fixed and under the direct control of the Department of Tourism and the records of all licensed guides can be verified on the respective websites. Hence there is little need to worry about being over charged when one hires a licensed guide.
Demerits of Unregistered guide
When one considers the skill set of an unregistered guide, there is very little, or in fact nothing, that one can take for granted. The person posing as a guide may quite possibly know nothing about the site, and as a result would only be so capable of reporting accurately to the tourist what they are looking at. There is no research to substantiate their credibility, and there is obviously no training to speak of. This last bit is what makes it difficult for even the relatively smaller criminal posing as a guide to be of much use to the tourist, if he has no knowledge of how to speak to a foreigner. Then of course, there is the worst case scenario, which, unfortunately is commonplace enough to be necessarily considered.
This is the most polished con artists, who may even propose to show you around the place for free at first, but by the end of your trip would have managed to dupe you of a substantial amount given their extent of cunning. Needless to say, there are no fixed charges to speak of when considering the unregistered guide lot, in fact, one would be lucky to get away even relatively unscathed.
Standard of service
Registered guide vs. unregistered guide
There is one important difference between the standard of service offered by the two categories that one only realises after having made the choice. This difference is that the registered guides with a license from the Department of Tourism have access to and in depth knowledge of various sites under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India that unregistered guides are not even allowed into.
This means that choosing the licensed guide and an unregistered imposter may also mean the difference between an in depth visit to the most culturally and historically rich sites and leaving with a piece of history and a rushed and uncomfortable viewing of what could have been a memorable experience and leaving with no real information.
What is it that required for considering the service of an unregistered guide?
One very important aspect to keep in mind when considering unregistered guides is that they should possess the license granted by the Department of Tourism otherwise they should not be by law allowed to offer the services of a guide if they do not possess the license granted by the Department of Tourism.
Is without documentation a criminal offence for an unregistered guide?
This means it is a criminal offence to pose as a guide without the necessary documentation. This in turn means that if such an individual is caught in the act of doing so, they will immediately be arrested and imprisoned. At the very least, this would cause an unpleasant and awkward situation for a tourist to be caught it, said situation made worse if one is in the company of loved ones.
For these reasons, it is always better to choose a registered guide with the necessary training, knowledge, and skills to show a touristic party around, rather than an unregistered guide, for if one thinks about it, an unregistered guide is really nothing more than a random man offering to show you around, without presenting any proof of identity or status as guide to you. These situations may get escalated drastically very quickly, and so it is always advisable to avoid opting for such persons out of little incentive other than to possibly save a little money.