Ivan, your guide in Alsace

Who am I?

My name is Ivan de la Torre, and I have been doing my job for 4 years now, guiding visitors through this wonderful region of Alsace, which captivated me 6 years ago. 

 

I am proud of my French-Spanish roots, as my father is from Madrid and my mother from Strasbourg. From a very young age, I was attracted to French culture, and after realizing my biggest dream of visiting Paris at the age of 18, all my attention then focused on Strasbourg and its region. 🥨

 

I wanted to dig into my mother's past, where she was born, where she had lived... to the point of exploring every street in the city on Google Street View. 😜 When I first visited Strasbourg, the city had no more secrets for me, I didn't even need a map to get around!

 

During this period of discovery of the family history, I took the opportunity to learn more about Alsace, its history, its traditions, its local language... All these aspects that I integrated progressively and that make me today an adopted Alsatian.

How did I become a tour guide?

The end of high school was coming, and I still didn't know what to do next! 🤷‍♂️

 

One day, my parents invited me to follow my passions: history, languages and contact with people. They said, « Why don't you study tourism? You could become a hotel clerk or a tour guide, even if it has less of a future! ». 😁

 

So I embarked on the adventure of tourism by joining the "Hotel Escuela" vocational school in Madrid. I began my studies as a Higher Technician in Tour Guiding, Information and Tourist Assistance. During the welcome meeting for new students, I learned that my new school had an Erasmus+ agreement with its counterpart in Strasbourg! Quite a coincidence! 😮

 

This European study program allowed me in 2015 to integrate a specialized tourism class in the "Alexandre Dumas" vocational school in Strasbourg-Illkirch. At the end of this training, I was admitted in a professional Bachelor's degree of Tour Guide at the University of Strasbourg in order to obtain the national approval to practice my profession. 

 

During the three years of studies and internships that allowed me to become a professional guide, I practiced by doing volunteer tours for family, friends, and strangers, so I could lose the fear of public speaking and put into practice the knowledge I acquired during my training. 

Integrity, flexibility and a sense of humor

When I am about to make a tour, it is as if I were in a trance. I forget about my personal or professional problems, and I give the best of myself so that my visitors keep an unforgettable memory of this region that I love so much.

 

✅ I have a strong sense of ethics, which stops me from giving misinformation to my visitors. If I don't know the answer to a question, I prefer to make speculations or simply admit my lack of information rather than building up stories. Even professional guides don't know the answer to all the questions. We are not walking encyclopedias.

 

✅ I also try to adapt to the visitors. They say that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. For example, when I talk about architectural styles or art, I find that some visitors look in all directions, as if they want to run away from the situation, as they are usually not interested in the art. I then adapt my comments, reducing or removing anything that might take me away from the visitor's expectations. 

 

✅ Finally, I am a smiling person with a sense of humor. So I try to include in my comments funny little anecdotes, even small jokes in relation to what we see, not always the good ones 😅, but still lightening the mood.

 

That said, every tour is unique and so is every visitor. My job is not to recite a memorized speech or to give an automated tour, but to pass on knowledge in a friendly and relaxed way

My portfolio

Accreditations

Since 2020

Strasbourg Notre-Dame Cathedral council

Evacuation training and authorization to lead guided tours

Since 2018

European Parliament in Strasbourg

Authorization to take guided tours in the Louise Weiss building

Since 2017

Prefect of the Bas-Rhin department

National approval for the exercise of the profession of tour guide

Academic education

2016 - 2017

University of Strasbourg

Bachelor's degree in "Development and protection of cultural heritage, Speciality: Tour guide".

2015 - 2016

"Alexandre Dumas" Tourism and Hotel Vocational School, Strasbourg

Technical diploma in guiding, information and tourist assistance in the framework of the Erasmus+ program

2014 - 2015

"Hotel Escuela" Vocational School, Madrid

Technical diploma in tour guiding, information and tourist assistance

Professional experience

Since October 2017

Freelancer

Local Tourist Guide and Tour Leader

Since December 2017

Strasbourg Tourist Information Centre

Local Tourist Guide (Freelance in partnership)

Since May 2017

Belfort Tourist Information Centre

Since September 2017 : Local Tourist Guide (Freelance in partnership)

May-August 2017 : Local Tourist Guide (internship)

Other experiences

Alsatian Guild of Tourist Guides

October 2019 - March 2021 : President of the Guild

March 2019 - October 2019 : Vice-President of the Guild

"Alexandre Dumas" Tourism and Hotel Vocational School, Strasbourg

June 2021 : Examination board for the Technician certificate in Tourism (Customer relationship management)

April-May 2019 : Member of the examination board for the Technician certificate in Tourism (Multimedia field)

April-May 2018 : Member of the examination board for the Technician certificate in Tourism (Multimedia field)

Students' Union of the Language School of S. Seb. de los Reyes

Oct. 2014 - Sept. 2015 : President of the Union

May 2015 : Tour Leader ex gratia during a cultural trip to Alentejo region (Portugal)

April 2014 : Tour Leader ex gratia during a cultural trip to Basque Country (France)

My main partners