What does it take to be a Routard guide researcher?

The team of researchers for Routard. Gavin's Clemente Ruiz is in a blue shirt, with a beard, to the left.

The ‘traveller in chief’ at the respected French publisher reveals the truth about the daily life of a travel guide writer

If you love travelling, working as a researcher for the prestigious Routard guides has to be a dream job. There are guides to more than 260 destinations and for each one, researchers make two to four visits a year to ensure it is kept up to date. 

Gavin’s Clemente-Ruiz is the development director in charge of this 50-strong team of researchers, known as pigistes. Unsurprisingly, he is not the kind of manager who is content to stay behind in the office. He is soon off to Lisbon and Shanghai and he says he travels all the time.

How did you become a pigiste?
This was my first job after my studies in literature at an Ecole Normale. I started in 1998 when I was 21. I liked travelling but above all I liked the idea of creating a book and I contacted Routard’s founder, Philippe Gloaguen. He liked my work and took me on and I’ve been here ever since.

The great thing is that there is no specific training to work at Routard’s, ...

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