The Tourist Guide Profession Loses Two Champions

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely death of two dear friends and colleagues
Annie Passot Tomianka (France):  Founder of the Fédération Nationale des Guides Interprétes et Conférenciers (FNGIC 1981) and 30 years on the Executive Board of Fédération Européene de Guides (FEG), also two years its President. She has been a hospitable and efficient colleague, taking up the contacts with UNESCO at a very early time (1986) and discussion with Brussels to protect  qualified tourist guides. She was involvedin  the first set of definitions at European Norms, which finalized in the area specificity and qualified profession and in the development of EN15565 Training and Qualifications of Tourist Guides.  She last attended a WFTGA Convention in 2007. A charming hostess and lovely friend, she died of cancer within barely three months and leaves her husband and children disconsolate. We feel with them and will remember Annie as the vital part of our profession.
Marie Pinho (USA), Guild of Washington Tourist Guides Executive Board Member for a long period and the last years WFTGA Area Representative. A lovely colleague with spirit and dedication, she gave many the feeling of professionalism, initiating political contacts for acceptance of the qualification and best performance; she will leave us in grief for the loss of a friendly and lively colleague. We will keep her heritage as a precious gift.  Marie died just after spending time with as at the WFTGA International Convention in Prague.

Posted: 02/12/15

WFTGA celebrates 30th Anniversary in Prague

The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations was founded in 1985.  Founder members Johann Szegö, Rune Lemon, Bertha Maria Major and Felicitas Wressnig (current President) were joined by Past Presidents Titina Loizides, Deborah Androus, Ruby Roy and Rosalind Newlands at the 16th WFTGA International Convention in Prague, Czech Repbuplic to celebrate 30 years with more than 300 tourist guides from 41 countries. Bertha  Maria made a presentation to Stanislav Voleman and the Convention organising team.  For more information and pictures see

Posted: 02/07/15

WFTGA Sponsor Mrs Edmee Pistis Leventis awarded the OBE

Cypriot national Edmee Pistis Leventis has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours list for services to Arts Philanthropy.

Mrs Leventis, born in Paphos in 1945, is a full time voluntary worker, in addition to being the former Chairwoman - and present member - of the Board of governors of Hellenic College.

She is also the former Chairwoman of the executive Board of Hellenic Trust and both Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Cyprus to UNESCO.

Educated at the Pancyprian University in Nicosia and the University of Rome La Sapienza, Leventis, the widow of the late Constantine Leventis, has three children.

Mrs Leventis has been a long term supporter of WFTGA through the A.G. Leventis Foundation and contributed to the re-writing of the WFTGA training materials


Posted: 01/06/15

First NATGA Guides Conference: Tirana, Albania

First Conference of Tourist Guides of Albania. So far there is no law for Tourist Guides in Albania, but tourism has grown by outstanding 28% last year! The National Association of Tourist Guides in Albania– NATGA ( member of WFTGA ),  is aiming to start professional trainings as soon as a new law on qualification will be passed in Parliament. The issue is to promote qualification and  training with WFTGA standard. President Felicitas Wressnig was invited to present WFTGA and its achievements

Posted: 12/20/14

World Committee on Tourism Ethics Praises Initiatives on Accessible Tourism

The fourteenth meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics meeting in Rome, Italy (17-18 November 2014) commended the efforts of UNWTO and its partners to advance Accessible Tourism for All. The Committee firmly supported the “Montreal Declaration – A World for All”, the outcome document of the recent World Summit on Destinations for All, and participated actively in the 1st Conference on Accessible Tourism in Europe held in San Marino on 19-20 November.  

Besides the issue of accessibility, the Committee also debated the ethical implications of the promotion of fair models of all-inclusive holidays, the impact on tourism of unfounded ratings on travel portals and the effect of the rise of sharing economy in tourism.

“Tourism makes a great contribution to economy, although in occasions it can be damaging at a local level, our Committee pays special attention to this. The tourism sector is undergoing great changes (online booking systems, user generated ratings, the use of ICT and social networks in tourism); topics which we have to understand and reflect in our initiatives”, said Pascal Lamy, chair of the Committee.

Welcoming the Members of the Committee, the Minister for Culture and Tourism of Italy, Dario Franceschini, said “In these difficult times, characterized by economic and financial instability, natural disasters and unpredictable socio-political events, we are all aware that development can only be addressed with a shared ethical framework”.

“I would like to thank the outstanding support received from the Italian Government in advancing the important agenda of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. It is the fourth time that the Committee meets in Rome thanks to the excellent cooperation established with Italy and to the support of the Rome Centre for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This collaboration shows the commitment of Italy to promote a more sustainable and responsible tourism development”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The Committee further backed the “Be a Responsible Traveler” anti-trafficking campaign by UNWTO, UNODC and UNESCO in cooperation with the private sector, to stand against human trafficking and illegal trade in wildlife, cultural artifacts and drugs. In the sphere of Child protection, the Committee acclaimed the participation of UNWTO in the forthcoming Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism and will follow up with attention the progress of this research.  

As the organ responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Committee applauded the growing number of companies and trade associations that have adhered to the Private Sector Commitment to the Code. By November 2014, a total of 356 signatories from 51 countries had committed to promote and implement the Code in their business operations.

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is the independent body responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Its 14th Meeting was held in Rome, host city of the Centre for the Promotion of the Global Code of Ethics in Tourism, under the chairmanship of Pascal Lamy.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place in Istria, Croatia, on the occasion of the 100th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council.

Note to editors:

The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a set of principles designed to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts. It was adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001.

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, a subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, reports directly to the Assembly. Members are elected in their personal capacities and not as officials of governments or representatives of their countries.

Committee Chairman: Pascal Lamy (Former Director General of the World Trade Organization); members: Mr. I Gede Ardika (Former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia), Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo (Former Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency), Ms. Fiona Jeffery (Former Chair of the World Travel Market), Mr. Khelil Lajmi (Former Minister of Tourism of Tunisia), Mr. Jean Marc Mignon (President, International Organisation for Social Tourism), Ms. Tanja Mihalic (Head of Institute of Tourism, University of Ljubljana), Mr. Ron Oswald (General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers´ Association), Mr. Eugenio Yunis (Executive Vice President, Federation of Tourism Enterprises of Chile); alternate members: Mr. Hiran Cooray (Chairman, Jetwing), Ms. Suzy Hatough (Director of Dar Al-Diafa for Tourism Human Resources Development Consultancy) and Ms. Gunnur Ozalp (Secretary-General, Association of Turkish Travel Agents).


Posted: 12/09/14

First WFTGA Training Courses in Singapore

WFTGA Train the Trainer Courses have been delivered in Singapore with Lead International Trainers Viola Lewis and Ivana Curuvija and International Trainer Jean Wang

Posted: 11/24/14
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