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


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,
  • South Africa: Building a Successful and Sustainable Tourist Guiding Sector,
  • 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

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 
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

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


Posted: 01/07/16

Presentation of UNWTO Affiliate Members Global Report on Cultural Routes and Itineraries

The presentation of UNWTO Affiliate Members Global Report, Volume 12 on Cultural Routes and Itineraries, jointly published with Affiliate Member, Agència de Turisme de les Illes Balears (ATB) is to be held at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday 17 December 2015, from 16:00 to 18:00. Kindly note that the simultaneous translation in English and Spanish will be offered.


Attached you will find a formal invitation in regard with this event. To confirm your attendance or if you have any queries, please contact UNWTO at

Posted: 12/01/15

December issue of Golden Arrow newsletter from the West Africa Tour Guides Association

Please find attached the December issue of your favourite Golden Arrow newsletter from the West Africa Tour Guides Association. This month WATGA celebrates the end of another year, shares powerful poetry and features the 10 hottest destinations on our planet.

Enjoy reading.

Posted: 12/01/15

IRAN WFTGA 2017 Convention: Achievements of 4-month Teamwork

The year of 2015 and the 16th Convention of World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA) in the capital of Czech Republic, Prague, was a memorable event for Iranian tourist guides society as they have acquired the host of the largest and the most important international gathering of tourist guides thanks to the hard work and efforts of the representatives. World needs a better positive insight through Iran's heritage and history, so it is believed that this event would bright the light in the future route of tourism development in Iran.         
Taking advantage of the enthusiastic volunteer tourist guides, the campaign of "Iran WFTGA 2017 Convention" have been started to work since the beginning of June 2015. Elaborating 17th WFTGA Convention in Iran, the first performance seminar was held in Ghasr Museum, the permanent Hall of the IFTGA (Iran Federation of Tourist Guides Associations) meetings on 27th October 2015, with the presence of the officials and specialists in tourism industry.  
Each committee explained to the audience their accomplishments in the course of past 4 months.       
Cultural & Education, Advertisement & International Relations, Advertisement & Public Relations, Marketing & Sponsorship, Catering & Hospitality, Cooperating, Financial & Legal Committees and writing books, translation, Websites & social media groups(into at least two languages of Farsi & English) are the groups of the Convention. All of them have some subdivisions with certain responsibilities towards the Convention main purposes.        
Secretary-General of the Tehran Convention, Mohsen Haji saied, in his opening address said: The event of Convention would be a historic turning point in the country's tourism industry since representatives from all around the world would commend distinct traits of Iran. Referring to the importance of having a systematic plan for the event, he added: "By means of this occasion, Iran needs to improve the infrastructures and welfare facilities promptly, and speeding up the process to get Visas and insurances to attract more tourists and make them satisfy as a deserved host".  
The next section of the seminar was dedicated to display a short movie of Ruby Roy, the vise president of WFTGA. She congratulated Iranian tourist guides to host the next WFTGA Convention and said:" This would be a decisive event for growth the tourism industry in Iran.  The Convention has a noteworthy outcome to bump the tourism up for the host as the rest of the world knows it well, and this time is for Iran's to strengthen it. Today WFTGA is the only global forum for tourist guides to communicate and for countries to grow the changes of this industry. It facilitates the exchange of information between the members.  
Iranian tourist guides are so much able and aware to introduce their country, she said and added: "The Convention would be a very good opportunity for them to fulfill that".  
Zhaleh Ibrahimi, vise-president of the board in TTGA (Tehran Tourist Guides Association) and the head of Educational Committee of the Convention, said:" To train professional tourist guides is the most essential part of our work. The committee is included in expert old handed guides".      
Climbing the mount Damavand, the highest peak in Iran and in the Middle East, was done by a group of 24 eco-tourism guides from several provinces of Iran to support the Convention, said Parviz Shojaee Parsa, the head of Sport Committee.  
Publishing the informative book of Iranian Hospitality would be a new record for the Iranian tour leaders, investigate in two parts of library and field study, said Lida AliNejad , the representative for the Hospitality Group, a sub-division of cultural committee. 
'The Records of Iran' is another forthcoming book, to be unveiled on the next Book Fair as saying Golnaz Dezfuli.    
An Iranian tourist couple, Samira Fallah & Mohammad Reza Afshar, presented their documentations such as slides and photos. To support and promote the Convention and to introduce the Iranian culture and other precious assets, they have started a journey throughout the country.  
The committee of Translation had wrapped up proceedings during past few months with competence and translated related texts (news, essays & itineraries) from/into Persian, English, French and German languages. "Iran; Friendly Faces, Open Arms, Ancient Cultures, Timeless Charms", the slogan for the Convention was also drafted and confirmed by the committee said the head, Somayeh MahdaviNia.  
Sharing first-hand news in famous four media, Facebook, Linkedin, Googleplus, & Instagram, in fraction of a second is the responsibility of the Social Media team, said Saeed Ayyobi, head of the team and added:" Our pages are quickly growing in followers and it shows persons curiosity to visit Iran".  
To implement 'strengthening the infrastructure plan', Dard-e Del Campaign is going to help to solve the bathrooms low quality, said Raha Akhondan, creator of the campaign and requested the governmental and private sector to join. 
Mehdi Anbar, deputy of the Heritage, handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Tehran, informed the audience about dedicating a suitable work office to the Convention.  
At the end of the seminar, Arash Noor Aghae, head of the Convention, appreciated the hard team work and unity of the Iranian tour leaders to record such a historic event and said: "This is an influential start ending with delightful happenings to hold the Tehran WFTGA 2017 Convention inimitable".    
Translated by: Mina Mehdinia
Posted: 11/21/15

WTM 2015: China, Mexico and Iran tipped as emerging destinations

China, Mexico and Iran (pictured) have been tipped as the top emerging destinations by British holidaymakers and senior executives polled at World Travel Market (WTM).

In the WTM annual industry report, brought together through a poll of 2,050 stakeholders (buyers and exhibitors at the show) and 1,038 British holidaymakers, the three destinations were said to be ones to watch in coming years.

According to the poll, more than half of the holidaymakers quizzed expressed an interest in visiting China. A further two thirds of industry leaders predicted an increase in business in China for 2016.

The news comes just weeks after the UK and Chinese governments signed a deal to boost tourism between the two countries.

The report stated: “More than 570,000 British nationals visit mainland China every year, but the pent-up desire to visit coupled with recent diplomatic and marketing partnerships look set to boost this number.”

The results also showed that 50% of holidaymakers were interested in travelling to Mexico and 16% were keen to visit Iran.

Of the business leaders quizzed, three out of 10 said they believed they would do more business in Iran in 2016.

This year, the largest ever Iranian delegation is exhibition at WTM, looking to agree deals with tour operator and agents.

Cox & Kings announced last month it would start selling holidays to Iran next year.




Posted: 11/14/15

Tour guides ‘future builders’ of Iran’s tourism industry: WFTGA

TEHRAN – Tour guides have a major role to play in building the future of Iran’s tourism industry and should be the core of it, the Vice President of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) Ruby Roy said. 
She described Iran as a country with “incredible historical and cultural treasures which were unforgettable”. 
She made the remarks in a video interview, which was screened at a status meeting held by the Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (IFTGA) on providing preliminaries for next WFTGA Convention, which will be held in 2017 in Iran. 
Roy said that a huge reform and improvement in the country’s tourism infrastructures is needed. 
Roy referred to the improvement of roadside rest stops, hotels and facilities as necessary in the country. 
She termed her Iranian colleagues as incredibly knowledgeable, well travelled, interesting, and well educated. “They are what bring the treasures of Iran alive,” she said. 
Several officials, tourism activists, and heads of provincial offices of the IFTGA attended the meeting. 
During the meeting, different committees presented reports about achievements of the Convention in different fields. 
The meeting is a follow-up to four-month activities of over 350 volunteers who are active in the field of tourism industry, the IFTGA president Arash Nooraghayee said. 
He added that despite all deficiencies, IFTGA does its best to hold a perfect convention. 
Also at the meeting, IFTGA member Mohsen Haji-Saeid made a short speech about achievements of the Convention during past months, saying that some hotels announced their readiness to host the Convention. 
He also pointed to the good coverage of Iran’s tourism news and attractions offered by the Convention’s social networks and websites during past months. 
Then, Oveys Kiani, the head of Zanjan Province’s Federation of Tourist Guide Association, said that a carpet, featuring the WFTGA Convention 2017 logo, is being woven in Kerman and it will be ready before the event is held. 
The committees are also providing a book about Iranian records in the field of cultural and natural attractions, he said, adding that the book will be offered at the 29th Tehran International Book Fair, which will be held in May 2016. 
This is the first time Iran bids to host the Convention, a biannual gathering of tourist guides from more than 70 countries, in 2017. 
The motto of the Convention is “Iran; Friendly Faces, Open Arms, Ancient Cultures, Timeless Charms”. 
“One Million Green Lights” and “Clean Washrooms” are the two campaigns initiated by the committees for the Convention. 
Having Iran to host the event was a collective effort that took over five months, he said, adding that a group of eight tourist guides and tens of others worked together dedicatedly to prepare the bid documents for the association. 
WFTGA is a non-profit making professional organization dedicated to the promotion of high standards of training and ethics within the profession. 
The association aims to establish contact with tourist guide associations throughout the world, to reinforce their professional ties and to promote and protect the interests of professional tourist guides; to represent professional tourist guide associations internationally and to work for the improvement of the quality and reputation of the profession of tourist guides worldwide.
Posted: 11/03/15

First "Hands On Guiding" and "Train the Trainer" course in Warsaw, Poland on October 17-30, 2015

First "Hands On Guiding" and "Train the Trainer" course was organised in Warsaw, Poland. Delivered from 17th till 30th October 2015 by WFTGA Lead International Trainer Iris Barry and International Trainer Radoslaw Szafranowicz-Maloziec. Supported by Polish Chamber of Tourism.

Posted: 10/26/15

WFTGA International Trainer Jassim Zaiton and Cruise cooperation partner Grant Holmes contributed to the launch of “Tour Guides Open Day” in Bahrain, October 18, 2015

Under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism the “Tour Guides Open Day” is launched Sunday morning at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

In his speech, the minister referred to the Ministry’s recent focus to implement plans and programs aimed at enhancing tourism sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain being an important economic sector. The minister said that “the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism within its orientations to enhance the economic sector in the Kingdom, put developing tourism sector at the forefront of its priorities and working to develop plans and programs to upgrade this vital sector including training tour guides and enable them to get a professional license in this important sector, tourist guides is one of the basics of tourist attraction that the kingdom seeks to develop it and qualify human cadres working in this sector,” 

key speakers of the open day are Jassim Zaiton and Grant Holmes. The  event is attended by a large number of representatives such as hotels, travel and tourism bodies and others.

The training workshop which has begun on October 11 until October 15 is a part of series training workshops aimed develop tourist guide profession, which considered one of the basics of tourist attraction.

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Mr. Zayed bin R. Al Zayani attended training workshop for tourist guides, which was launched on Sunday evening. He expressed ministry’s keenness and support to develop this profession stating “these workshops are national program the ministry aims through it  to create and develop a new career, where after the completion of the current team, the profession will be limited to this licensed category to do this work. This is a national honesty the ministry keen to maintain it  through the history of Bahrain.”

The workshop is divided into two parts, theoretical and  practical, focusing on training the tourist  guides about the best tourist guides behaviors. The program also includes tours to some archaeological and tourist sites in Bahrain.  







Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre
Posted: 10/19/15
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