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The Department of Tourism and the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) have conducted the first basic course in tour guiding for 2018.
Twenty-eight prospective tour guides who took part in the three-day training obtained their competency certificates on Friday January 26, 2018.
The certificates were presented by the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, in a short ceremony at ministry’s headquarters at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri.
This was in the presence of the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, the Principal of the Tourism Academy, Flavien Joubert, and other officials of the tourism department and STA.
The twenty-eight individuals, some who have been working in the tourism industry for many years, alongside those who are new in the field, have been given the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed when conducting tours of the island.
Topics covered during the three-day course include the role of a tour guide, communication skills, hints on how to interest a client, basic information on flora and fauna, as well as the geography and history of Seychelles.
The training conducted by STA’s Tourism and Tour Guiding Lecturer, Merna Lajoie, also comprised of a practical session where all participants had to conduct part of a tour of the island, as a way of putting into practice what they learnt during the sessions.
During his interaction with the group, Minister Loustau-Lalanne encouraged them to be good ambassadors for the benefit of Seychelles’ tourism industry.
“We will honour our end of the bargain to bring more and more visitors to Seychelles each year, and to bring visitors who can spend, and when they come here you have to take over. It is imperative that you give an excellent service and value for money,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne.
He also called on the group to encourage other prospective tour guides or those already offering the service without the proper license to also embark on the short course and legalize their activities.
Aside from those employed by Destination Management Companies, the majority of tour guides in Seychelles have got their own private business. The basic course in tour guiding is one of the most important prerequisites for new applicants wishing to become licensed tour guides. The license is issued by the Seychelles Licensing Authority, and there are other requirements, including a basic training in first aid.
The Tourism Department through its Tourism Human Resource Development section has been intensifying training for tourism commission agents and tour guides since last year. The aim is to improve their standard of service offered to visitors.
The new batch of twenty-eight prospective tour guides adds to a group of twenty-three who received their certificates of competency in November last year.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune said more training will be organised this year to cater for increased demand for such a course from prospective tour guides, adding that the dates will be communicated to the public.