Each year, CERN takes more than 120 000 visitors on guided tours, in addition to those who visit only the permanent exhibitions. However, the number of requests for tours continues to grow and more are refused than accepted. The capacity for visitors is limited due to the constraints of the visit points, the times at which they can be visited, the number of trained guides and transportation.
People working at CERN, meanwhile, have always had the possibility of organising “private tours”. Recently, more and more of these private tours have been arranged as a way to circumvent the rejection of a group tour request.
Some tours have even been arranged without the Visits Service being informed or in contravention of certain rules: for example, the group includes too many visitors, the guide is not trained, the group is taken to a prohibited area, the tour clashes with an officially registered tour, etc. In cases such as these, the organiser bears sole responsibility for any repercussions.
These “pirate” tours not only hamper the work of the Visits Service but also increase the risk of accidents if safety rules are not respected and give the impression that alternative, non-official routes can be used to circumvent the rules.
The Visits Service has therefore published on its website the procedure and conditions applicable to the organisation of private tours: https://visit.cern/tours/private-visits (a CERN computing account is required to access the page).
The Visits Service would like to thank all CERN colleagues in advance for respecting these rules, which are designed to ensure that all requests for CERN tours are handled fairly.
The Visits Service is still willing to consider requests that do not meet all these conditions if they are justified. No exceptions to the safety rules will be made under any circumstances.
Please note that some experiments and departments have their own procedures for tours that are limited to visit points for which they are responsible.
For information, all guided tours will soon have to be registered on the Visits Service’s system to allow the systematic identification of all visitors to the CERN site.