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Off Radar Cruise News supports the initiative created by the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations in conjunction with Progress International for the specialized training of Tourist Guides towards serving the Cruise Industry, in accordance with internationally recognized standards.

The original Cruise Guide Training concept was created by Grant Holmes, CEO of Progress International to provide specialized training for Tourist Guides serving the Cruise Industry, and to establish internationally recognized standards. The first course was successfully delivered in Tripoli, Libya long before the Arab Spring in 2007.

The World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA) later officially accredited Cruise Guide Training and WFTGA International Trainers were the sponsored Guests on board the Costa Concordia  from the 26th January to 3rd February 2008 to attend a Train the Trainer (TTT) course in order to discover more about the special requirements of cruise guests from the independent experts of Progress International in collaboration with the Costa Cruises team.

The first WFTGA accredited Cruise Guide Training Course took place in Larnaca, Cyprus from 4th to 6th February 2008. Ever since this time the course has been trained all over the world in the following 3 formats:
  • 3 days Training: Live Group Training featuring a comprehensive course designed for emerging destination aspiring to service the Cruise Ship Industry.
  • 1 day LIVE Training: Featuring the essence of Cruise Guie Training designed for experience Cruise Ship Guides. 
  • Cruise Guide Training Online: Available to to all WFTGA licensed Tourist Guides and designed to give maximum access and Cruise information sharing to Tourist Guides on a global scale.
Tourist Guides undoubtedly provide a key service for Cruise Ships, comprising part of the value service chain. Shore excursions are a highlight of the overall cruise experience and they are invariably the core reason why cruise Guests select a particular cruise ship itinerary in the first instance. Excursions also generate important economic benefits to the local communities of each respective destination in addition to the cruise companies.

WFTGA President Rosalind Newlands said:
“Many cruise guests are visiting new destinations but often they will return independently if they have a good experience. Tourist guides are usually the only local person that visitors meet and they are therefore ambassadors for their city or country and can influence whether the visitor will decide to return. Tourist guides are also representatives of the cruise ship companies and their shore agents and it is vital that they fully understand the expectations of the guests and of the whole cruise experience. In that way they will be able to tailor their tours appropriately and help the visitors enjoy the experience and plan future excursions during the cruise.

Tourist guides who take part in WFTGA Cruise Training will receive a certificate and pin from the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations to add to their own qualifications. Cruise companies and their clients will know that the “WFTGA Cruise Tourist Guides” are not only fully qualified and/or licensed guides for their city, region or country but also specially trained to meet and exceed the expectations of these very important guests.”

Note for Press
The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) is a not for profit, non political organisation which groups together, around the world, tourist guide associations; individual tourist guides; tourism partners of both the WFTGA and member associations; educational institutes in tourism for tourist guides; convention and visitors bureaux and affiliate members who have direct or indirect association with tourist guides. WFTGA has members in 53 countries and represents around 93,000 tourist guides around the world.

The WFTGA’s main purpose is to promote, market and ensure that tourist guides are recognised as the ambassadors of a region. WFTGA offers services to our members but also communicates to those in search of the services of professional area specific tourist guides and where to hire them. We also actively promote our members’ associations and industry partners worldwide.

WFTGA supports the UN WTO Responsible Tourism Campaign and Green Globe.

The next biennial WFTGA Convention will be held in Macao, China in January 2013.
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