Deputy Minister Xasa celebrates the International Tourist Guides' Day with the tourist guides in Zebula, Limpopo
21 Feb 2012
"Tourist guides are an important 'cog' in the wheel of tourism" says the Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa. The Deputy Minister was speaking at the International Tourist Guides Day Celebrations which was held at the Zebula Game Lodge near Bela Bela in the Limpopo province.
The International Tourist Guides Day is an annual event celebrated on this day internationally to recognise the important role played by tourist guides in tourism worldwide.
The theme for this year's event "Building a sustainable tourist guiding fraternity as we celebrate milestones achieved" highlights the importance of tourist guiding as a profession that can sustain the lives of tourist guides while abiding by the service through professionalism and service excellence.
An estimated number of 120 tourist guides attended the workshop on Monday. The gala dinner was attended by local guides including visiting guides from countries of Lesotho and Botswana. Also in attendance was the Secretary of the World Federation of Tourist Guides Association, Ms Patricia Blain who was invited by the local affiliate, the Federation of South African Tourist Guides Association (FSATGA).
Ms Blain addressed a tourist guides' workshop and shared the history of the profession an international milestones in tourism guiding. The World Federation has a membership comprising of 75 member countries which has 250 000 tourist guides worldwide.
The Federation comprises of the associations representing all the different sectors of guiding in order to achieve a unified voice and approach in addressing matters pertaining to tourist guiding.
The MEC of Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Mr Pitsi Moloto welcomed the guests to the Limpopo province during his address at the Gala dinner held on Monday evening to "celebrate and award" the commitment of the tourist guides. Twenty tourist guides were awarded certificates after completing Level Two Portuguese language training.
A special mention was made about Sydney Mikosi, who was awarded numerous awards for being the top tourist guide by SANPARKS.
In 2008, the National Department of Tourism (known then as the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT)) embarked on a process of professionalising tourist guiding in South Africa. The process produced a strategy that also outlines the need to effect necessary amendments to the Tourism Second Amendment Act and Regulations.
The year 2010/11 saw growth in tourist guiding due to the 2010 FIFA Soccer World. In the same year Cabinet approved our National Tourism Sector Strategy whose section 4.4 makes provision for dealing with matters relating to Tourist Guides.The Deputy Minister believes that "the professionalisation of tourist guiding will have a positive impact on the tourism sector and on South Africa as a whole and even for the Southern African Development Community (SADC)".
Recently, the Department has engaged with some of our SADC neighbouring countries to find ways of harmonising our tourist guide standards in the SADC region. The framework for such harmonisation has been developed and will again be given particular attention by the newly appointed National Registrar Victor Tharage in the new financial year.
For enquiries please contact:
External Communications, National Department of Tourism
Cell: 082 326 6678
Balosang Sanki Lerefolo
Media Liaison Officer, Deputy Minister of Tourism
Cell: 082 836 8703
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department
Cell: 082 049 9667
Joint statement by the National Department of Toursism and Limpopo Economic Development, Environment, and Tourism
Issued by: Department of Tourism
21 Feb 2012
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