Is Your Tourist Guide Qualified, asks GOA (Guiding Organisations Australia)?
Today, International Tourist Guide Day, 21st February 2009, the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA) is launching a campaign to encourage tourists around the world to question whether their tourist guide is qualified or licensed.
Throughout the world there is a continuing problem with illegal and unqualified tourist guides who do not have the necessary knowledge or skills to interpret the destination.
“Qualified tourist guides are ambassadors for their countries and are often the only people that visitors really talk to and engage with. They can make or break a destination. In the current global economic climate, it is even more important that those who continue to travel receive the best quality products and services. Some unqualified guides work mostly through commissions and tips and do not offer a professional service to visitors. Members of the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA) are all professional qualified tourist guides who adhere to a Code of Practice and Quality Charter.”
Rosalind Newlands, President World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations
Professor Sam Ham, University of Idaho, USA says research has shown that tourist guides have the power to influence visitor behaviour and create a lasting impression.
“It is not so much what they say but how they say it that is most important”.
Today tourist guides in more than 40 countries will be offering free tours for charities, schools, colleges, elderly people, industry partners and tourism bodies to showcase their work and help their local communities.
During 2009, posters and other promotional materials will be displayed worldwide to encourage visitors to check if their tourist guide has the appropriate qualification or license to guide in the destination.
For more information on Guides of Australia accreditation you can contact GOA firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the application requirements online.
The current cost of Guides of Australia accreditation is from $50 for members of GOA organisations. There will be an increase in fees from 6th April 2009 so if this is something you have been putting off, now is the time to apply.