A ghost has been haunted in Vienna for some time – the ghost of free tours, advertised by the City of Vienna itself. Hundreds of protests were loud, the Chamber of Commerce opposed it, the many independent Austria Guides went on the barricades, some even report assaults on the providers. So what speaks against city tours that cost nothing, against free tours for tourists? We think: actually nothing. It is great when volunteer guides (would) lead hundreds of tourists through Vienna free of charge every day. You already guessed it … there is still a catch! And so it is, there is a catch that also explains the conflicts that arise from it.
The so-called „free tours“ through Vienna are of course anything but free. They made use of the somewhat outdated price concept of gastronomy, in which the guest decides for himself what he wants to pay for the food and the restaurateur saves himself the trouble of calculating what his food is really worth . The concept as such can be found as well as considered to be anti-market, but that’s not the point. Now, after the success of some restaurateurs with this concept, we know that ultimately the guest pays on average even more than the quality offers, so that unfortunately the guest does not gain anything, especially since he is asked to „voluntarily“ choose a „customary“ market Price „to be paid. This means? The guest is based on our price and even pays more for the „free tour“. Regardless, we agree: a successful concept is a good concept, whether it brings added value or not. Accepted.
In our own interest, we do not speak out against successful concepts. Every tour operator in Vienna is free to excel in ideas and quality. Every tour operator is also free to invent a better price model – well, as long as it does not undercut the minimum tariff that the tour guides have given themselves. The good thing is: the „free model“ does not endanger this tariff in any way, because the earnings seem to be very decent, the generosity of the many guests high. What is the problem now? Well the problem is that they are trying to go against the concept of free choice of prices, which of course is nonsense. If someone thinks that’s good, he should do it. We think it is our job to calculate the best price for our guests and we are not afraid to name this price, but … please, everyone as they want.
However, tours that offer a free choice of prices are never free. Advertising such tours as „free tours“ is therefore unfair in our humble opinion and makes life difficult for guides who are honestly looking for a best price model for their customers, especially when the free market is distorted here because “ Wien Info „also advertises these tours in 1st and 2nd place on google. And no, it looks like we can’t (currently) change that, but we can still speak our minds. And we can also make an appeal to the colleagues who peddle this model: We grant you success from the bottom of our hearts and many bookings through innovation and quality. But if you offer a tour with free choice of price, then this tour also calls „tour with free choice of price“ and not „free tour through Vienna“ and then cashes in at the end – or you really do this tour for free, that’s for us too totally OK. In short: we think that this is simply not appropriate and that it is not fair to customers or competitors. Be that as it may, one thing is certain: „Free tours“ that are not free at all will not be offered at artemezzo. It is important to us that what is written on is inside with us.