Welttag der Fremdenführer in Innsbruck-5
17 February 2023
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

The fine art of leadership

A city has pages, like a book. Because you can never know them all yourself, there are so-called city and tourist guides - in Austria, by the way, quite simple and gender-free: austriaguides. For the World Day of Tour Guides on February 25, 2023, the austriaguides show their most beautiful walks also in Innsbruck completely free of charge. What is offered and what one can expect, the occupational group spokeswoman of the Tiroler Fremdenführer*innen, Antonella Placheta, betrayed to me personally. I recently had the pleasure of meeting her over a cup of tea at Innsbruck's cultural focal point Treibhaus.

"Black tea. With honey, please." You wouldn't know it from her 23 years on the front lines. Since the turn of the millennium, Antonella has been a austriaguidebefore that, she did tour guiding and cruises, she has seen the wide world and has long since been washed with all the waters. In addition to her training as a tourist guide, she also studied history - there's really nothing more exciting, her coral smile beams at me. We're already on the subject: How do you avoid the school escape reflex? Many people still get goose bumps when they hear about history, and I too get a little creeped out. "The first five seconds are crucial," the expert smiles knowingly, because every group works differently. "A bit of social psychology is part of it, a snappy quip often helps too, but the most important thing is the story. Then no walk is the same, and when at the end even a complete school class whines 'Too bad, already over,' that's when things really start to get fun."

Digitization and everyday life

"What fascinates one person bores someone else. Indian groups find fountains great, snowy views and everyday life - for locals it's totally banal." Antonella manages the perfect mix of knowledge and entertainment fluently in six languages, but the packed program on February 25 is nevertheless aimed more at locals: "On World Guide Day, we put our repertoire at the service of a good cause. All guided tours are completely free of charge on this Saturday, except for voluntary donations, and we then round up the proceeds for Licht ins Dunkel ", Antonella explains to me. "There are no fewer than 40 themed tours in Innsbruck alone, and it's very easy to register online." That's a good keyword, so I ask her if digitization has changed her job "Of course: there are fantastic apps and digital guides today, but no AI can replace a real person telling real stories, that is and remains unique."

A city full of wonder

The Giant's Hall of the Hofburg, the „Schluchtenscheißer“ at the Golden Roof, the „schwarzen Mander“ of the Court Church, the secrets of Ambras Castle and the ancient craft of the bell founders are just some of the stories that you can experience with the Tyrolean austriaguides on 25 February. The starting point of most city tours is the ITF information booth at the city tower in the old town. When Antonella is asked to tell me her favorite place in Innsbruck at the end, she thinks very, very long: "The ‚Koatlackn‘ St. Nikolaus, the Höttinger Nudl and the Bierkrügerl in the Innstraße."

I have to smile, because of course austriaguide Antonella has chosen the oldest part of Innsbruck - with some of the most beautiful city stories ever. By the way, Antonella will also make her tour of the city there on World Tour Guide Day. Otherwise, however, you can meet her on the roof terrace at Haus der Musik - because from there you can see everything that makes Innsbruck special: "The historic Old Town and Hofburg, the rich musical and cultural history just opposite, and on the horizon the mighty Nordkette watches over the city. Uniquely alpine-urban and simply a really beautiful spot."

Photos, unless otherwise indicated: © Innsbruck Tourism

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