WFTGA News

International Tourist Guide Day in Vienna

In 1989, at its 3rd Convention the WORLD FEDERATION OF TOURIST GUIDE ASSOCIATIONS decided in Cyprus that the 21st of February shall be instituted as the “INTERNATIONAL TOURIST GUIDE DAY”, commemorating the foundation of its own organization back in 1985 in Israel where the first international convention had taken place.
Since 1990 tourist guide colleagues from all over the world, from California to Australia, from Finland to South Africa celebrate “their day.” On this very special day tourist guides do not guide their international groups but dedicate themselves to the residents in their local community.
In 2005 the Vienna Tourist Guides explained to over 400 Vienna residents the collections of the Leopold Museum, the Sisi Museum in the Vienna Habsburg Palace and took 100 blind people and persons with impaired vision into the collections of Vienna’s Museum of Technology.

In 2006 the International Tourist Guide Day activities started already four days before February 21 with a special celebration honouring the director of the visiting program of Sch�nbrunn Palace, Mr. ROBERT TIDMARSH. „BOBBY“ as we guides call him, has always an open heart for us guides, instructs us about the fire prevention program and creates that friendly atmosphere in the most-visited sight of Vienna that is so essential for our work as tourist guides.

 

 

 

Posted: 05/09/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Uganda

Uganda Tourist Guides celebreated the International Tourist Guide Day on Saturday 22nd April, 2006. Two major activities were carried out. Bird watching with young birders, and launching a cultural walk in the city. At the end of the birding activity, the young birder were given a simple asignment of writing the birds they had seen in the morning, and they were asked to draw pictures of birds of their choice. All the participants were democratically involved in the assessment. The winners were given additional prizes. However all the young birders who participated were winners of different items. The occassion was honoured by the Prof. Thome Wolfgang, who is the President of the Private sector tourism associations. May other stake holders attend including visiting tourists from United States and Europe.

 

Posted: 05/04/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Iceland

The Iceland Tourist Guide Association in cooperation with a local tour operator and the Hunting Museum in the south of Iceland invited the blind and sight impaired on an excursion to “see” wild animals from Africa on International Tourist Guide Day 21 February 2006. Forty people accepted the invitation which was a great success.

The guests enjoyed the unique opportunity to touch stuffed animals originating in Africa and other continents. Animals on display included a lion, giraffe, warthog, waterbuck and other exotic ones.

The participants were thrilled with the four-hour guided excursion and commented on its educational value. “Today, I touched some foreign animals that I have only heard about but never had an idea what looked like”, a blind young woman said who also mentioned the stuffed birds on display at the museum. “It was fantastic to touch some birds that I have heard so often before in nature but never known what they really looked like, until today”.

Mr. Pall Reynisson and Mrs Frida Magnusdottir own and run the Hunting Museum. “When we had 1000 people walking through our kitchen to see the animals we decided to open up a real museum,” Mr Reynisson told the guests during the visit. The couple shot most of the animals themselves but some 30 are on permanent loan from the Icelandic Institute of Natural History.

Asked if this hobby wasn’t expensive, Mr Reynisson replied: “Hunting is our passion and we save money on other things. We never spend our money on things we don’t need and we even live in the museum itself which is an old storage shed, to save money.”

After visiting the Hunting Museum in Stokkseyri the group was taken on an excursion around the village and afterwards the town of Selfoss, before making an afternoon tea-time stop at the Eden Garden Centre in Hveragerdi. The excursion was planned by Mr Stefan Helgi Valsson, guided by Mr Valur Palsson and Gylfi Gudmundsson and driven by Mr Bergsteinn Hardarsson – all members of the Iceland Tourist Guide Association.

The event attracted the attention of two television stations, three newspapers and three Internet news portals. The State Television presented news about the event during its main evening news. Channel 2, Iceland’s most popular pay subscription television station, mentioned the event during its news programme and featured the event for six minutes in Iceland Today, its magazine programme.

Posted: 04/05/06

Victor Leal, our colleague from Gautemala and our Area Representative for the Spanish speaking Americas has passed away.

VICTOR LEAL ESTIVEZ
Born in Guatemala, he was a free lance tourist guide since 1978. At the end of his regular High School, he began tourism studies at Guatemala private school for Tourist Guides getting a degree in 1977. In 1978 he began studies to become professional tourist guide at the Technical Institute for Capacity and Productivity, INTECAP, (professional tourism education division) getting the official Professional Tourist Guide Title from the Labour and Social Foresight Ministry of the Government of Guatemala. He also finished Hotel Management and Tour Operator technical studies from the same Institute . Victor was the. Founding Member of AGTG Guatemala Tourist Guides Association,a board member and President since year 2001. Victor become World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations Area Representative for Spanish speaking Americas after attending the 2003 Convention in Dunblane Scotland. Victor was one of the WFTGA first Jane Orde Scholarship winners. Due to his hard work at developing and promoting tourist guides world wide and in his region and many other criterias which he met to win the scholarship.

He travelled long distances by motorcoach to meet tourist guides, attend trade shows and work on promoting membership to the WFTGA in his region.

I had the great pleasure of working hours with him on preparing Guatemala's bid and proposal for the 2007 Convention. Victor ran into many obstacles but his determination of having a chance to bid only made him meet all the challenges as best he could. He and his colleagues worked hard to have a well documented proposal ready on time with all the elements required. Unfortunately, due to delays of trying to get a visa to travel to Australia, costs and health reason, all this prevented him from attending the 2005 Convention and bidding. He was determined to try again. He prepared an excellent report as Area Representative in his region which was read out by colleagues. Victor was very much looking forward to coming to Egypt a life long dream of his and to meet with all of us again and meet the challenges of our ever changing profession.

Victors Professional skills included:
Working as our guide-conductor, designing tours, corporate,private and VIP tours conducting tour analysis: distances, timing, roads, any local land, water, air transportation, hotel reservations (including Belize and Central America.as a tour manager), he also offered services of staffing
He offered cultural tours: MAYA archaeology, ethnology, anthropology, history which is why he had a great fascination to visit Egypt He taught Spanish and I remember fondly how he corrected the incorrect term of Latin America which he always said meant nothing.

He conducted Eco-tourism: fauna, flora, sustainable tourism projects among many other involving this topic. He worked on sales for Guatemala offered sporting tourism such as bill fishing, rafting, hiking, volcano climbing, mountain bike, scuba diving, snorkelling and jungle tours.He was versatile in conventions planning , fam trips, special events logistics, planning, organisation and staff hiring.
He conducted tours on shore excursion of cruises as well design, planning and coordination and worked as shore excursion assistant manager. Victor also offered
INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES
Conferences, guiding, video and movie logistics for, Smithsonian Institute, Art Museum of Chicago, National Geographic, Metropolitan Community College of Omaha Nebraska, Die Letzten Paradiese, (nature-reise-abenteuer) Swiss-German productions.

Posted: 04/01/06

CEN Meeting on International Tourist Guide Day in Cyprus

European Standardisation Committee (CEN) Photos in Cyprus

Tourist Guides of 10 European countries celebrated the 21st February 2006 in Cyprus by having the meeting of the European Standardisation Committee (CEN) for the standardisation of "Tourist Guide Services".

 

Posted: 03/30/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Rhodos island-Greece

On the occasion of celebrating the International Tourist Guide Day, the tourist guides of the Association of Dodecanese based in Rhodes, presented a new DVD about Rhodes island, in the presence of the head of Prefecture of Dodecanese, Mr. Mahairidis, the mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Giannopoulos and many other officials. The DVD was created by tourist guides themselves in their free time, mostly in winter, and its title is “Rhodes, the town-Local initiatives of employment-Culture”. It’s a voluntary offer by tourist guides to the inhabitants of Rhodes, to get to know their own town and it includes six walking tours (three in the old Town and three in the new town). A relevant brochure will be handed out to schools and inhabitants of Rhodes island. The President of the Dodecanese Tourist Guides’ Association, Mr. Alexandros Colliadis and the Vice President, Mr. Dimitris Salahouris, spoke about the important role tourist guides play for the area and for the whole country, but also about the difficulties they face while trying to do their job professionally. All officials agreed and emphasized the importance of tourist guides for the development of the area and wished them a successful year in tourism.

Posted: 03/27/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Dubai

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) joined the world in celebrating the International Tour Guides Day. The Training Solution department organized a reception at the Nad Al Sheba Club House to recognize and honour the work of experienced and dedicated professional tour guides on the occasion.

All tour guides who received special praise or recommendations from tourists for their work received certificates from DTCM as a recognition for their work. Mr. Ibrahim Yaqoot, DTCM Manager Human Resources, presented certificates of appreciation to guides who have attended recently-conducted training courses.

2006 Dubai Photos

Posted: 03/26/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Toronto

The Canadian Tour Guide Association of Toronto organized a free tour of downtown Toronto to celebrate International Tourist Guide Day on Tuesday, March 21, 2006.

 

Posted: 03/26/06

International Tourist Guide Day in Austria

The tourist guides in Wien offered three different walking tours (Mozart and the musical tradition in Vienna) for to celebrate International Tourist Guide Day. They had 610 visitors. Besides the guides had about 70 blind people for the special program (guided tour in the Furniture Museum). TV, Radio and some newspapers mentioned the guides too.

Posted: 03/26/06

We lost former WFTGA Secretary: Margrit Klimscha

Margrit Klimscha (May 15, 1927 - July 31, 2005)

Margrit Klimscha was a founding member of the Vienna Guide service in 1975. Within the Vienna Chamber of Commerce she fought relentlessly for the professional interests of tourist guides. In 1985 she represented Austria at the first Convention of WFTGA in Israel and put her expertise into the preparation of the second WFTGA Convention in Vienna in 1987. There she was elected WFTGA Secretary.

For 20 years the undersigned has enjoyed a 20-year friction-free co-operation not only in the Vienna Guide Service but also in the WFTGA Executive Board. In 1995 our energetic, extremely intelligent colleague fell victim to a lethal disease and passed away on July 31, 2005, deeply mourned by her Vienna and international colleagues.

Posted: 09/16/05
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