North West Tourism celebrates International Tourist Guides’ Day

North West Tourist Guide trainees officially receive their certificates.

Ten Tourist Guide Trainees from the North West Province celebrated International Tourist Guides' Day in a jubilant mood, when they were officially awarded their NQF level 2 certificate on Culture Site Guides during the recent two days International Tourist Guides' Day celebration held in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province.

Speaking to provincial registrars, key stakeholders and Tourist Guide trainees, the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom said South Africa is a country with so many diverse cultures, and being a tourist guide in South Africa is such a beautiful thing, we like to think of it as a whole world in one country. He said that the country has top of the class safari experiences and packages from all 9 provinces including all the different activities one can experience.

In his State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned Tourism as one factor that can boost the economy, so we are here to encourage our Tourist Guides to contribute to this milestone we want to reach. We have four aspects we need to focus on to be one of the best destinations in the World which are Good Offerings, Sell our Products to the world, Make it easier for people to come to South Africa and ensuring that the maximum number of South Africans are exposed to all tourism related opportunities, Hanekom said.

Tshegofatso Macucwa (29) from Setlagole Village in the Ratlou Local Municipality said that the training has equipped her with the necessary skills to be able to practice tourist guiding professionally and that the whole experience was eye opening.

The skills I have acquired will assist me a lot as there are ample opportunities within the tourism guiding sector and also there are economic opportunities for me to be my own boss and run my own tour operations company. The course has also assisted in expanding my knowledge with regards to available opportunities within the tourist guiding sector. I will now be an active participant within the sector knowing that I have adequate skills to be an instrumental contributor with adequate skill, said Macucwa

She added that meanwhile she will be exploring historical sites in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District and also seek more information on local community's cultural norms and traditional practices. There is a lot that is not captured in terms of our cultural practices, traditions and norms. I want to explore that and develop more accurate historical and heritage information. Our stories were not properly told and I will use the skill acquired through this training to try and tell our story, added Macucwa.

Meanwhile North West Chief Director for Tourism Growth, Development and Transformation Sarah Manone congratulated the newly certified tourist guides and wished them well in their journey to becoming successful tourist guides. Manone said that this well in line with her department's growth, developmental and transformational agenda.

We are very excited as a province to have managed to work together with the National Department of Tourism in training these young people on culture site guiding at NQF level 2 certificate. This is a skill which can used to change one's current socio-economic status and become an active role players within the tourism sector. We will also as a department ensure that we create a conducive environment within the tourist guiding sector for these trainees to prosper. Congratulations to them and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, said Manone

The celebration of the International Tourist Guides' Day comes as a result of the World Federation of Tourist Guides Association (WFTGA) declaring the 21st of February International Tourist Guides' Day. On this day, tourist guides are celebrated by recognizing the important work that they do within tourism. Since its inception, the event has been celebrated across the world by WFTGA member countries of which South Africa is also a member. In South Africa, the event has gained prominence and is celebrated at both national and provincial levels. The objective of the event is to profile the tourist guiding sector and create awareness about the profession.

Source: Government of South Africa