1. Why in some countries of North America and Europe, Bible Tours are "free" (often is anyway requested a suggested contribution) and in others like Italy, France or Greece is requested a fix price of a fee as for example in your Virtual tours?
The taxes and laws are different in each country.
In our country from the fee we receive, for any in-person or virtual tour, we must pay 40% of everything we earn goes to taxes..virtual or in-person tours, it doesn't matter for the Italian law.
Moreover in Italy, France or Greece it is illegal to work as tour guide without having the government license, which is like a university specific degrees. In the countries with a lot of history this job requires many skills and endless training.
You can not guide brothers on the street or inside an historical site, just having an informal training from someone and asking a free contribution. Is not allowed by the law! If the city police or someone of the tourism department stops you, you can be fined with a very big price!
That's why all our brothers and sisters of the crew are licensed tour guides and tour leaders! Is not their hobby.
2. Why don't you make your tours free also for brothers in special service, commuters and regular pioneers?
We cannot give all pioneer a discount. We have decided to make an exception for those who did ' vow of poverty' and who cannot work. Those who live on just the small donation they receive from the organization. However, regular pioneers and commuters do work earn money and pay taxes. We deeply appreciate their effort because we too have families and have all been pioneers for many years.
We would sincerely that all the brothers from abroad can join in the tours. While we are aware that sometimes the tour fee required could be an important amount for some because of currency exchange.
(In case of any dire economic discomfort, let us know at the time of booking and we will evaluate each request.That is regardless of the privileges one has in the congregation)
3. By offering these tours, do you not believe that you are using the brotherhood for commercial purposes?
Not at all. We were all Licensed Tour Guides long before we started doing Bible Tours for our brothers and sisters. We did not improvise ourselves as Tour Guides, for example after a training received due to an international convention. In Italy it would not even be possible. We are all registered in the National Register of the Tourism professional workers, and we pay all taxes from this full time job. When we are not busy with Bible Tours, we are happy to offer our services to any kind of customer. We are not exclusive guides for Jehovah's Witnesses. In Italy would be considered a discrimination. However on this website and on our social pages linked here, you will find just the tours that we have prepared for our brothers and sisters. On our personal social pages you will see us working with not only jw tourists, but people from all over the world. We have been doing this from many years. As a company we offer a service to the public at large, whomeover has an option to buy or to refrain from buying, no one is forced to do so.
Thanks again for putting yourselves in our shoes for a short while.
With love and respect
Your brothers from Rome