WFTGA News

17th WFTGA Convention Iran Newsletter - Online Registration is Open

Registration deadlines, IFTGA scholarship, Pre- & Post Tours, Visa regulations and more in the Newsletter!
 

Posted: 08/23/16

June 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues of WFTGA,

 

Finally I have news to publish – and it is good news too!

It cannot be any secret that the signing of the Vienna Treaty with Iran in January released once more critics of WFTGA General Assembly decision for our 2017 convention; the almost immediate renewal of more sanctions swept euphoric ideas to ground and lead to an almost paralytic standstill. Now, Executive Board can give you basics of our next convention in Iran: 

The 17th WFTGA convention will start in Tehran on Saturday, January 28th 2017 at 9 AM, the General Assembly for all Delegates one day earlier, the 27th; the price will be Euro 800 for single use. Our colleagues in Iran will offer the PreTour from January 25th to 27th including Zanjan and Hamedan for Euro 320; the Post-Tour over five days will cover Shiraz, Persepolis, Yazd (the famous centre for Zoroastrian Religion), Isfahan and costs Euro 580. Registration will be handled by DMC Mondial in Vienna, to facilitate all processing and payments. It will ensure that your money remains with WFTGA as long as sanctions hinder money transfer between Iran and the world. It will also allow our members to pay via credit card and online and as European Union Agency, Mondial has an insurance to cover all possible difficulties. These special services will add 10% to the cost of all bookings.

The detailed programme and all varieties for participants will be on website starting July 10th , registration will open August 1st.

WFTGA president arranged with Lufthansa and all its partners – including their code-share and joint ventures, to give 5% – 10% reduction on the flight price to any who signs up for the 17th WFTGA Convention in Tehran. The discount applies from wherever you fly, between January 17th and February 13 th, 2017 – reaching Tehran. There will be additional airlines who will offer reduction, but only Lufthansa gives this without location and departure restriction. Whenever we have new and more information, we will publish accordingly; further agreements are in process.

Executive Board reminds all its supporters and followers, members and nonmembers, of the possibility for qualified tourist guides to apply for a Jane Orde Scholarship to participate at our Iran Convention: in 2017 we have additional sponsorship given by the Iran government and our Hosts, the Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA). Check our website and apply! 

IFTGA is working to get an additional insurance for their participants while in Iran; the moment the contract is signed, it will be published. Another special treat will be quite a support with Visa issues: the first 100 applicants will be exempt for payment of their visa – whichever country. Generally, the application will be followed by an official letter and the visa form to fill in; with this document returned to our hosts, you receive a number to get your visa, either at your nearest embassy or at the Tehran Airport – depending on your country and passport. 

WFTGA welcomes our new members – in all sections of membership - from

Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, France, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Tajikistan and Togo. I do remind you to check on our website: the more movements, the higher in the listing! It means a lot of work to create and send a newsletter. As we are all volunteers and need to work too, this is sometimes difficult and obviously the reason why ITGD newsletter is still in process under supervision of Vice President Ruby Roy, who is in contact with all of you via facebook.

We also have additional Area Representatives and still need more: look at the territories covered and find which are open for your initiative to promote WFTGA. The new Coordinator is our former EXBO Member, Govind Agrawal, supported by Secretary Esther Banike: do contact them please.

WFTGA EXBO works on suggestions for the next General Assembly in Tehran: how to deal with individuals and membership in countries without qualification; how to integrate applicants from emerging countries with little money; how we can help communication in territories without technical access; how to include individuals who live in countries of enormous size and have no contact from one end to the other? Any suggestion for renewal and up-date by our members is welcome: the Board works volunteer and your support would be a big help!

Other documents need up-dates, like the Online Cruise Training Course; this is already on the verve to reopening.

The Treasurer Hermann Friedsam would especially appreciate speedier payment of the many unpaid 2016 membership dues. It takes a lot of time and effort to send out invoices and reminders. Please check whether you are paid up - only Members with paid up status will be allowed Delegates for the 2017 General Assembly.

Executive Board utters their deep concern about tragedies around the world: weather caprioles, terror, economic crises: if we tourist guides do not promote peace and reach out our hands to All – who else should? I do look forward to see you in Iran!

 

With special wishes to all colleagues

Felicitas Wressnig
WFTGA President

June 2016

 

Posted: 07/06/16

UNTWO World Tourism Day Campaign 2016

For further information please visit UNWTO website

Posted: 07/01/16

The Executive Board of World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations reminds colleagues from all over the world of the Jane Orde Scholarship.

Since the inauguration by Past President Deborah Androus in 2000, this scholarship invites any participant who comes from a country of World Bank Tier 3 or 4 or 5* to join the WFTGA convention; it might be a partial or full scholarship on the admission fee. The application welcomes any WFTGA member tourist guide and/or any qualified tourist guide from non-member countries who would like to join the 17th WFTGA Convention in Tehran, Iran in January 28th – February 1st, 2017.

 

Please fill in the form, scan and send with equivalent documents to E-mail: info@wftga.org Deadline July 31st, 2016

 

*check on your country World Bank Tier in www.wftga.org/membership    

Posted: 06/20/16

WFTGA Hands On and Train the Trainer Course delivered in WFTGA International Training Centre in Yerevan Armenia

WFTGA Hands On and Train the Trainer Course delivered in WFTGA International Training Centre in Yerevan Armenia, from 31st March till 12th April 2016, by WFTGA Lead Trainer Mary Kemp Clark, in cooperation with Armenian Guild of Guides and Yerevan State University, and supported by Tourism Department at Ministry of Economy of Republic of Armenia

Posted: 04/04/16

"Tourist guide training in Iran in February. Report by Steve McAuley

In February this year, I was lucky enough to visit Iran to take part in a tourist guide training program. This was arranged by the Iranian Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in conjunction with WFTGA (World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations) to prepare guides for the next WFTGA meeting which takes place in Tehran next year. Thirty-six guides, with experience ranging from two to 22 years, took part in the seven-day Hands-on Training (HoT) class. Apart from myself, there were two other WFTGA trainers, one from Greece and the other from Singapore. The course concentrated on guiding skills, and the students had three exams – one written and two practical, a walking tour and a coach tour.

When approached to do the training I was quite apprehensive.  Just about everything I knew about Iran, which apart from its ancient history wasn’t much, I had got from the media, and most of it was negative.

The reality was very different. The people were warm and friendly. There were women in the courses and women were also the heads of some of the tourist guide associations. The architecture was amazing. The course took place in Isfahan with its UNESCO central square surrounded by mosques, a palace and a bazaar. I visited this square and the famous bridges nearby about ten times over the period of a week and so got to appreciate it even more.  Isfahan also has a large Armenian Christian community, and the Vank Cathedral, mosque- like in appearance but with a cross on the dome, had its inner walls covered in colourful frescos and murals. We also were able to visit a few of the nearby desert towns, seeing ancient underground mills, handicraft makers in the old cave systems, castles, and houses with wind catchers which are really ancient air-conditioners.

In January next year, Iran is hosting the 17th WFTGA Convention. It will be in Tehran but there are pre- and post -conference tours. The post conference tour will go to Persepolis, Shiraz and the ancient city of Yazd. I am certainly planning on going. If you are able to attend, expect to see things you have only imagined before.  Also expect to have many of your pre-conceptions and misconceptions broken down.

IATG members are also members of WFTGA and so eligible to attend this conference. If you would like more information, please check the WFTGA website or contact me.

 

 

Steve McAuley

 

P.S. And as an aside, all 12 students in the class did really well.

Posted: 03/29/16

WFTGA Train the Trainer Course in Scotland

The WFTGA Train the Trainer Course, organised by the Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) was delivered by WFTGA  Lead International Trainer, Rosalind Newlands and WFTGA National Trainer Patricia Blain.  It was attended by 8 STGA members: Linda Arthur, Robert Bowles, Margaret Hubbard, Ian Linn, Margaret McLeod, Alison Reid, Anne Robertson and Stewart Wood.  The Scottish Blue Badge Guide Training Course is accredted by WFTGA.
https://stga.co.uk/how-to-become-a-guide

Posted: 03/11/16

Cyprus Train the Trainer Course in November 2015 finalised

Cyprus Train the Trainer Course in November 2015 was just finalised with new National Trainers from Albania, Bahrain, Cyprus, Iran, Nepal, Slovenia. WFTGA congratulates all, including the facilitators, sponsors and helping hands!

 

Maria Aristidou
Vice-President and Training Committee Chair CTGA (Cyprus Tourist Guides Association)
Course Coordinator & Representative Cyprus International Training Centre - WFTGA

 

Posted: 02/05/16

International Tourist Guide Day 2016

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

WFTGA has been in existence for 31 years, and since 1990 we have celebrated the International Tourist Guide Day worldwide. Within that time it has become a major promotion for our profession, for members and supporting partners alike. 

Cooperating Partners are the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), who declares the current year as the one to support

SUSTAINABILTY

Whether some call it “green” or “soft” tourism, all want to protect their own area and cultural heritage. The tourist guide is one who supports this wish intensively. We explain our sites and habits, protect nature and traditions, promote local handcraft and help build the infrastructure. Tourist guides, out of professional respect for their cultural heritage, consciously choose never to bite the hand that feeds them. 

The wish of UNWTO to reduce visa restrictions has been essentially successful and the growth in travel has increased 4 % all over the world (including overnight stay) since last year.

Another of our congenial partners is the International Institute for Peace and Tourism (IIPT) celebrating 30 years of existence and just recently starting cooperation with Skål International. Tourism is becoming the world’s first “global peace industry”. What else do tourist guides desire? Travel to connect with friends, new ideas, habits and cultural exchange – the root for Mutual Understanding.

Check out some themes already established by a few of our members for this year’s celebration, and watch WFTGA's Facebook page for more:

  • Germany: “GRÜNderzeit” – discover your own region, www.bvgd.org
  • South Africa: Building a Successful and Sustainable Tourist Guiding Sector, www.guidesday2016.co.za
  • Austria: The Wealth of Nature. Additionally free tours for refugees to familiarise them to the new country and new conditions; the programme is planned for the full year.
  • West Africa: experiences ITGD for the first time with the youth in Ghana, where many know little about the activities of tourist guides. Togo and Benin expressed the wish to replicate in their countries, Sierra Leone might follow. 
  • New Zealand: Don't forget to like us on Facebook to share messages, trivia and photos.

Let us know about YOUR upcoming plans and results at www.wftga.org.

Felicitas Wressnig
WFTGA President

Posted: 02/02/16

International Tourist Guide Day 2016: Newletter

International Tourist Guide Day February 21st is fast approaching and we would like to inform members and colleagues around the world to celebrate somehow locally.
Using your smart phones post your message to the WFTGA facebook page and twitter accounts
Remember to use the WFTGA logo for International Tourist Guide Day and be visible.
Send any stories and pictures to info@wftga.org 
International Tourist Guide Day February 21st was created by Past President Titina Loizides in 1991, as a way for tourist guides to promote themselves locally, in order that the local population, media, tourism industry partners were aware that the region have tourist guide and our role. On this day, tourist guide association and members of the WFTGA offer tours, events, presentations and lectures to the local population. Some associations have over the years held rallies, have had press conferences at UNESCO sites, have done charity work.

Some creative associations have created simulations of problems they want to address to tourism authorities, police and government officials.  Many of these events have created great changes to our profession and the guiding world in general.

Some of the most memorable ones
In Cyprus : Some years back, the  Cyprus Tourist Guide Association  wanted to have authorities understand that the coaches were not safe. So they simulated an emergency situation. Guides conducting a tour up the mountains said that they had to evacuate the motor coach through the back doors. At that time the coaches did not have back doors, and that created changes in Cyprus

In Montreal: The APGT- Montreal offered city tours to the police officers and cadets who worked in the areas where we had large number of tourists and motor coaches. We wanted to show them the issues we face with coaches, parking but also for the police to know how to recognise licensed tourist guide as well as remind them of the by-laws

These are just two small examples of of what member associations have done

Several regions and cities around the world have officially declared International Tourist Guide Day as being recognised. It is the only day that belongs to our profession created by the WFTGA. For some countries it is in the dead of winter, however the associations can be creative or do something as simple as have a gathering for members  to recognise our profession

In February 2016
One suggestion as a theme is to try and get Metro newspaper the free newspapers found around the world now to print your activity one week, and a few days before.

In Prague we had a suggestion about association members becoming twin members. In this way two associations from across the globe could do the same activity

After February 21st 2016
We ask members to send WFTGA EXBO articles, reports, photos, blogs, instragrams, TV programmes, Youtube video so that we can post to WFTGA facebook and for our website

For more inspiration on how to organise your day
http://www.wftga.org/tourist-guiding:/february-21st-international-touris...
http://www.wftga.org/past-ITGDs
http://www.wftga.org/guidelines-internetional

For more information please contact : Vice President & Past President Ruby Roy

 
 

Posted: 01/07/16
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