Discover the Bordeaux Charity Tours !
Today I invite you to discover the work of my colleague Julia. It is very important to me... To show that culture can be accessible to all and can even allow us to support great actions!
Let's go and discover Bordeaux Charity Tours and the person behind ithe project : I named my sparkling colleague and friend, Julia!
Before talking about your new concept with Bordeaux Charity Tours, tell me about yourself…
I am Julia, 31 years old and I’ve been working in Bordeaux for 10 years ! I am a smiling and bubbly tour guide, sometimes too enthusiastic and above all, I loooove my job !
I love art, History, photography…and my life is a permanent training to improve my tours, it is hard and it takes me out of home a lot but it’s pure hapiness.
Why did you decide to become a Tour Guide ?
I always had two passions : Art and History but becoming a Tour Guide was really a big coincidence as I discovered this job and the studies going with on…Google ! Only one problem : my shyness but I discovered a new part of myself : once I am starting to talk to a group, everything is going well and I am not shy anymore… This job reveals the best of myself !
What is being Tour Guide in 2020 ?
Ouch…very tough question!
3 words : Passion – Sharing and Diploma
People always ask me the same question “What’s your job?” or “What are you doing the rest of the year?”… “Well, huuuum…guided tours and guided tours again and again : this is a REAL job !”
But the way to do it evolves : social networks, web platform, free tours… Tour Guides have to adapt to this new frame and to change their way to work to not be seen as “an old and boring tour guide”. I have a new website and blog, a facebook page and I am always trying to create new tours and concepts.
Let’s talk about your new concept of guided tour ?
It is an easy concept : to visit the city with a friendly and licensed Tour Guide (nothing new so far…) while helping local associations. At the end of the tour, you are invited to give a tip but 100% tips will go to a local charity. You will not be only tourists but act for the city and its inhabitants.
There is a second goal : to promote better access to and wider participation in tours. At the end, up to you to give 2€, 5€, 10€… Give what you want and what you can !
Is it really a NEW concept ?
Actually…I don’t know ! In Bordeaux, I believe so…
In 2018, I organized (with the Aquitaine Tour Guides Association) a series of tours charged 2€, for the Heritage Week End and we raised funds up to 800€. A check has been given to the Breast Cancer Fundation !
I hope that the concept to match booming tourism with good causes will echo in many minds.
Isn't it a kind of Free Tour ?
Yes it is, because the tour is free on a way.
No it is not, because I’m a real volunteer while Free Tour Guides are paid with their tips ! With Bordeaux Charity Tour, 100% tips will go to a local charity and you won’t pay any extra fees.
What’s the big difference in between Bordeaux Charity Tours and Free Tours ?
I would say : local economy ! As a tourist, you diserve the truth : where does your money go when you pay for a tour ? Is your guide paying local taxes to work ? Is he/she part of a parallel market ? It creates an uncomfortable underground economy. Everyday, we have to pay attention to our way to consume : local producers, fair trade…why not doing the same with tourism ? There is no way of control…the visitor has to be responsible ! Tour Guides have to be creative, put themselves forward and do their best not to become kind of “Uber Guides”.
With BCT, I’m 100% transparent and you are 100% involved in local needs and economy.
How did you choose the associations you wanted to work with ?
A purely arbitrary decision ! 2020 is a test so I chose causes I care about : homeless people, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Violence against women…there is so much and so many people to help ! I am working in shifts with several associations and my mailbox is open if local associations would like to contact me to work with me.
2020, what’s the plan ? Any program ?
Top secret ! No…bad joke…maybe not !
Every month, a weekend will be dedicated to a good cause with guided tours in French or/and in English.
I can’t give any precise day so far because weather is another important condition and I want to welcome a maximum of visitors. I’ll try to advise people at least 15 days before the tour !
Which kind of Bordeaux guided tours do you create ?
Tours by district or tours on a specific theme full of anecdotes, History and always on a friendly way ! I have already offered :
- a Bordeaux Medieval Tour from Sainte Croix to Saint Michel ;
- an Artists Tour about artists who lived in Bordeaux, from the poet Ausone to modern street artists
- a Chartrons district tour…
Here is the scoop, my next tours : In and around the Bordeaux Public Garden ; a Roman Tour ; Bordeaux Dark Side…
Were the first tours successfull ?
For instance, on January/February 2020, visitors followed my tours to help an association from Le Taillan, “Robins in the streets” and money has been used to buy winter clothes, food, health products…
I want to limit the number of people participating to the tour to make it comfortable but the last tours were fully booked and we raised up great funds, here is the proof :
With the lockdown, I don’t know when the next tours will take place but I am ready, full of ideas and always enthusiastic !
Where can we get information about your Bordeaux Charity Tours ?
The easiest way is my Facebook Page : Visite avec Julia. Like the page and you will know automatically my next events.
My new website with a blog : www.bordeauxofficialtourguide.com
I hope to have local Ad on local blogs, news, radios…
Anything else to add ?
Yes ! Come with friends, your family or only yourself…you will have fun, lot of anecdotes and you will help a good cause.
You can’t miss me, I’m super easy to find in the street : orangehat + smiling woman + Julia name tag ! See you soon !
Interview realised on April 02nd, 2020
After the interview, Julia let me know that she used the money from the last Charity Tour to help the students confined to the university campus of Bordeaux during Covid-19 pandemic who are struggling to feed themselves during this complicated period - with the association Horizon Caudéran