Volunteer and passionate guides to (re)discover the Episcopal city of Albi

the essential
Positioned at strategic crossroads in the episcopal city, the volunteers of the Tourist Office come out to meet tourists all summer long to offer them valuable advice.

You will surely have met them during a walk in the bishop’s city. Who ? The members of the information pool of volunteers of Albi (the ABI), stationed on rue de Verdusse or near the Bondidou car park, are always armed with a map of the city and good advice which they eagerly share.

An atypical approach, which has little success with tourists, as confirmed by Anne-Marie for the ABI. “Visitors are always happy to meet us. They often explain to us that it is the first time that the tourist office comes directly to them. So sometimes they also come to thank us when they return to the centre. It is an attention that touches us a lot”.

Passionate guides

Recognizable by their emblematic red T-shirts, these volunteers are present from June to September, Monday to Saturday, in the historic center to welcome visitors, but also to guide them and provide some valuable information. “We try to adapt to the needs of the visitors,” sums up Michelle. “We offer each visitor a plan with three circuits with landmarks and emblematic monuments. I also present the Castelviel that tourists sometimes forget to visit, the pastel and other specificities of our beautiful city.”

To meet demand, the pool rotates based on everyone’s availability. Together, all the volunteers have a little anecdote, a memory of a funny or memorable moment that they are happy to share. “I had my back to the cathedral and an American arrived. He asked me if I could tell him about the cathedral”, recalls François, a volunteer for two years. “I told him to lift his head. He left. And then 10-15 minutes later he came back, apologizing. ‘To me the cathedral is Notre-Dame, it’s Reims, it’s not this fortified castle.'”

Launched by the Town Hall when the city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, the initiative has won over many retirees. A pool of volunteers that must always be renewed. A daunting task to which the tourist office undertakes at the beginning of each spring.

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