World Tourist Guide Day celebrates tour guides internationally
February 21 marks the 21st occasion of World Tourist Guide Day, as established by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.
As hot debate surrounds the role of tour guides in a market that is increasingly driven by online searches and direct booking, it is emerging that tour guides are still an important element in translating the cultural understanding of a destination.
Guides committed to quality content, high standards and professionalism add significant value to the visitor experience. Their knowledge and practical skills help bring Cape Town alive for visitors, and guides are often described as the best ambassadors for a destination. In situations where there are language gaps or cultural differences, the link between visitor and community is best facilitated by a tour guide.
Says Cape Town Tourism communication manager Skye Grove: “Today’s successful tour guides are the ones that unlock experiences that would otherwise take much energy or research to access. Tour guides are the cultural storytellers, and those who tell the unexpected and fascinating human, historic and even tragic stories of Cape Town are high in demand.”
Although tour guiding is a relatively accessible entry point into the tourism industry in that it requires little capital outlay to start out as a guide, it is a specialised field best served by people with passion, patience and a real thirst for knowledge.
Those wanting to study to become a tour guide should contact Cape Town Tourism’s Adrian Solomon at 021 487 6800 for further information. All tour guides who are members of Cape Town Tourism are registered with the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. This department issues the guides with a tourist guide number (WC number), tourist guide badge and an ID card.
For further information, please contact Cape Town Tourism’s PR and communication manager, Skye Grove: +27 (0)21 487 6800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.capetown.travel.
Released for Cape Town Tourism by Rabbit in a Hat Communications, Tammy White: +27 (0)21 448 9705, +27 (0)73 202 5041, email@example.com.