Antigua gains 13 certified tour guides through specialized training course

Training geared towards “heritage tourism, a fast-growing subsector of the tourism industry” 

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA — Thirteen people have officially become certified tour guides after successfully completing a specialized training course facilitated by the Ministry of Tourism and Investment in conjunction with the Professional Approach Consultancy.

The Antigua Ministry of Tourism and Investment, in conjunction with the Professional Approach Consultancy, officially certified 13 tour guides last week.

Manager Tracy Browne of the ministry’s Tourism Education, Training and Awareness Unit hailed the initiative as a success, stating, “I am pleased that the participants came forward to be a part of the training session and I admired their full engagement during the activities.

“My tourism colleagues are extremely proud of the training which aided in the professional development of these tour guides. We now have 13 tour guides who are competent and confident ambassadors.”

According to the ministry’s Director of Policy and Planning St. Clair Soleyn, the initiative was part of the Tourism Ministry’s “vision to professionalize every aspect of the tourism sector”.

Soleyn remarked, “This is a time in which tourist destinations are re-evaluating their operations in a thrust towards improved sustainability and many recognize that training and education are key pillars in achieving this goal.

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    “As such, the Ministry of Tourism and Investment perceives it as important to offer coordinated training to key tourism professionals such as tour guides,” who the minister said now have the opportunity to receive their fair share and capitalize on the industry.

     

    New tour guides inducted in heritage tourism 

    Cleo Henry, lead facilitator and accredited trainer with the World Federation of Tourist Guides Association, explained that the 13 new tour guides undertook a rigorous course featuring heritage tourism.

    A tour guide in Antigua before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: The Montrealer)

    The participants were required to attend lectures delivered by industry experts, complete practical training exercises in the field and ultimately pass formal written, practical and oral examinations to receive their certification as tour guides.

    She congratulated the organizers for the “successful planning and implementation of this training course”, which she asserted properly prepared “a cadre of tourist guides who will demonstrate confidence in engaging and positive interactions with visitors as they deliver commentary and interpretation at specified sites in Antigua and Barbuda”.

    Delving into more specifics, a Ministry of Tourism statement noted, “The course was designed to provide the participants with the knowledge, understanding and techniques for success in delivering tour commentary, interpretation and presentation.

    “The training mainly focused on four historical sites — Fort Barrington, Fort James, Devil’s Bridge and Betty’s Hope — providing the participants with new skills and knowledge of heritage tourism, a fast-growing subsector of the tourism industry.”

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