Legislation of Hiking and Active Tourism in Spain

It is considered an Active Tourism Company one that realizes tourist activities of recreation and adventure in the nature with profit spirit. We must also differentiate between active tourism and sports tourism. The first is done with the support of a company (a service is hired, and there is a person in charge) and the second is not. Companies that only rent material would also be excluded, since there are no requirements for monitors, insurance, etc. The only requirement is that the content is approved. Clubs and federations would not be included as they are not companies, and they carry out non-profit activities. In the event that a club obtains money for that activity, it should become a company.

The regulation is established to the company where its establishment is established. In the case of a company that carries out activities in a destination where its base is not set, the European Directive Bolkestein is applied, which releases the exercise of a tourist guide, so a community guide must be accredited according to their home community, not in the destination. Therefore, the way to regulate activities is already within the territory itself, such as the regulations within Natural Parks.

In relation to hiking, it should be borne in mind that it may not be on the list of regulated activities, since depending on the territory it can be considered that guided hiking is not a specialty of Active Tourism. This probably because it does not require a specific material to be made. Or it may be considered tourist activity, and in that case, it has another type of regulation. Aneta within the land activities has an excellent classification called Mountaineering, which includes hiking, mid-mountain, high mountain, Mountaineering, expeditions, sport climbing, climbing, cross-country skiing, canyoning, mountain duathlon, half mountain marathon and marathon of Montana.

What some regional regulations say:

  • In Catalonia, hiking is not within the regulated physical-sports activities, although there are climbing, via Ferrata, Mountaineering, mountain skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In the 2003 decree, trekking was included when it was being carried out in Alta MontanaHowever, in the 2004 order it was excluded.
  • In Cantabria, the Decree of 1997 does not detail what the activities of active tourism and adventure are, and it is referred to in the requirements to the federations of each specialty.
  • In Castilla-La Mancha, the Decree of 2005, includes as active tourism activities:  Mountaineering -Modal sport mode in which you move through mountainous terrain with climbing techniques, survival in the middle and orientation,  Climbing -Cut through walls more or less vertical helping hands and feet, cross country skiing -Make a tour in more or less flat terrain by snow on a schistosomiasis, backcountry skiing -Make a journey through the snow with skis in a mountainous area, and outside Track, Excursions -Travel from one place to another for recreation or fun. They can be done on foot, on horseback, by bicycle, with skis., Mountaineering – Mountain displacement activity, carried out on foot, whose objective is the ascent to
  • mountains without using in any case the techniques and materials of climbing, Mountaineering or skiing-, Snowshoeing – Snowshoeing technique in which the practitioner, after having set footwear or special snowshoes, can advance through the snowy surface without sinking , Cultural Routes -Itineraries that unite various sites of cultural and historical interest. They can be done on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, by an all-terrain vehicle, etc., Hiking-Activity that consists of excursions on foot along paths that link different sites of natural, historical or cultural value. Among the professionals in the sector the use of the term tours is being generalized to refer to long-distance hiking trips (even by the mountain), which can last several days, and in which the participating couples spend the night in shelters, tents or bivouac The English term trekking- would also correspond to this definition.
  • In addition, the active tourism companies of other Autonomous Communities that develop productive tourism activities in the territory of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha, even when occasionally, are required to obtain the appropriate authorization and Register in the Register of companies and establishments of Castilla-LaMancha, in accordance with the requirements of this Decree.
  • In Castilla y Leon, in the decrees of 2007, it does include the following activities on land in active tourism activities: hiking – short- distance walking, mountain climbing, trekking – long-distance and distance walking,  climbing,… and the following events in the snow: cross-country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing,

International Framework

The leader of the UIMLA International mountain and the UIAGM Mountain Guide are the internationally recognized qualifications in the mountains around the world.

The International Union of Associations of mountain companion guide (UIMLA) was founded in November 2004 UIMLA is an international organization based in France, representing the iMLS of Andorra, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Peru. One of the most critical objectives for UIMLA is to represent the profession at the international level, as well as the establishment of equal qualification standards for all global MLS mountain leaders.

Advantages of going with a Professional Guide

  • You learn about flora and fauna, the geology and cultural history of the place
  • Discover secret and dazzling panoramic corners
  • Increase your knowledge about ecology and environment
  • You forget to prepare and organize an outing, with all that entails: planning the route through safe places, risk management in trap lands and with great exposure, weather forecasting and applying it to reality, designing alternative routes (Plan A, B, and C), book the accommodations…

Higher direct taxes and administrative requirements Lower direct taxes and administrative requirements

With this you can already get an idea of what qualifications you should demand when hiring a guide , because although by law nothing is required (as we have seen in Autonomous Communities that have no legislation in this regard), in In the event of an accident and claiming a civil liability, the insurance company of the company may not be responsible for the compensation because the guide would have exceeded his duties if he was not entitled. So watch out for people who work without a degree and hide in the law allows it.

Attention to the ‘false guides’

With the rise of Social Networks and Collaborative Internet platforms today, people who are neither professional guides nor belong to a club organize activities putting at risk the hikers who hire these services. We give here a series of clues to distinguish them

  • Before hiring the event, request without any blush online form .. email or WhatsApp or even at the beginning of the route, the corresponding degrees according to the type of business you have hired
  • Compare prices in similar activities of other agencies or guides, so that you can see at what costs they can move
  • A very low or too cheap price of business may mean that you are not being offered a quality service. This is because fake guides or agencies will not pay your accident insurance or will not have qualified guides for saving money. They also usually ask or force what you are federated, transparent way to keep the corresponding Accident insurance.
  • Sometimes they usually put a chorus of the type «Each one is responsible for himself being only mere organizers …» etc. Well, if this is so, they do not have to charge you or ask for a “solidarity contribution.” It requires if you pay, individual consideration in the form of excellent service, qualifications, and insurance.
  • Contrast the reliability of such a company or guide through Google and other search engines. It’s easy; a little time will be enough to know if you don’t have everything you demand. The opinions they have of them can also give you an idea of ​​their “fame.”
  • These “fake companies or guides” usually have that if, .. RC Insurance or Civil Liability. Of course, in this way, at least they have something to protect them if they screw up in a meaningful way. Although that would not be enough if it reaches the judicial sphere.

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