For Immediate Release: 14 October 2009
TO JOURNALISTS AND NEWS EDITORS
The World Federation of Tourism Guides Association (WFTGA) commenced as a result of proposals put forward at the first international convention held in Israel during February 1985. South Africa is one of the founding members. The WFTGA has grown and today represents 47 countries with more than 100,000 Tourist Guides. The International Tourist Guides Day – an initiative of the WFTGA is held on 21st February every year as an approach of showing how a professional tourist guide brings life to tourism.
Recent unemployment statistics show that nearly 24% of South Africans are struggling to find jobs due in part to the decline of the key mining and motor industries, amongst others. Yet there is one industry with abounding potential, and that is tourism.
It is no doubt that tourism is now entrenched as one of the pillars of economic and social development in South Africa. Tourism has become an effective tool to fight poverty. The worldwide tourism marketplace is an extremely competitive one as the tendency for people to travel has grown exponentially over the past few years.
Tourist Guides are becoming more recognised as ambassadors to the tourism industry in South Africa. The duty of a Tourist Guide is not only limited to the tour activities when tourists visits a certain destination, but also their contact often has direct influence on the tourist’s experience in the country. Tourist Guides strives to provide the highest standard of service in an honest and professional manner and again, the Guides Code of Ethics calls on professional guides to always be willing to provide optimum support and quality services in the industry.
The Tourist Guiding fraternity believes that the South African tourism sector, as a key economic and social engine of development, requires a strong Tourist Guiding thrust to ensure equitable and responsible tourism growth and transformation. To achieve this Tourist Guiding has to be elevated to a national priority as a profession and sector to impact meaningfully on the tourism value chain.
Mpho Moeti, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA), stated, “Our strategic and analytical approach to our industry gives us the edge we need to keep tourism industry constantly evolving for the better.”
Tourist Guide Day therefore, is a time to create a gathering not only for the celebration, but also a platform to share knowledge and to network and be seen as professional tourist guides.
Moeti continued that “tourism’s unprecedented success is no accident. We have gotten to where we are today by working together and to continue to make the most of the benefits that tourism growth can offer our communities, it is essential that these advancements continue. The tourism sector won’t be a success without support, enthusiasm, commitment, planning and investment.”
“The tourist guide is not only a person who leads groups of people around a town, but also provides assistance, information on cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to tourists. He is the image of a particular destination, Mpho added.”
Moeti concluded, “One of the cornerstones in the advancement of human progress and human condition is ‘quality of good work’. And we all know that high quality and customer service excellence are at the heart of a sustainable tourism. ” The Annual Tourism Awards will be awarded to Tourist Guides on International Tourist Guides Day – 21 February 2010 for service excellence. Winners would automatically be entered for the National Awards presented annually at Tourism Indaba.
No. 1 Central Place
Cnr Jeppe & Henry Nxumalo Streets
The competition applies to only Gauteng Registered Tourist Guides. Entry closes on
30 November 2009. Ends/
Issued by: Quality Assurance Unit
Gauteng Tourism Authority
Tel: (011) 639 1600
Fax: (011) 639 1700
|Tourist Guide Entry Form - 2009 _2_.pdf||44.12 KB|
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