WFTGA News

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

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 unwtoam@unwto.org

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

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.

 

 

Source: http://m.travelweekly.co.uk/Article.aspx?cat=news&id=58144

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.
 
Source: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=250430
Posted: 11/03/15
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