TWENTY-SEVEN participants joined the Tour Guiding Training Course held at the Negros First Negosyo Center in Bacolod City over the weekend.
The training course on tour guiding is positioned to address the need for more Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited tour guides in Negros Occidental.
The training was initiated by the Negros Occidental Tourism Division, DOT- Western Visayas, and Tourism Educators and Movers Philippines-Western Visayas.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said tour guides act as representatives of the province and play a significant role in ensuring tourist satisfaction.
Mansinares said considered as ambassadors, tour guides present Negros Occidental in a way that will encourage tourists to come back to the province.
They also serve as information officers helping the tourists understand the province’s culture, she also said.
“Through this training course, we hope to encourage the participants to apply for DOT accreditation after they graduate,” Mansinares said, adding that “they will become our backup manpower during big conventions in the province.”
Currently, there are only seven DOT-accredited tour guides in Negros Occidental.
“Given few number of accredited tour guides, we are having difficulty especially in times of big events like meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition (Mice),” the provincial tourism officer said.
“Thus, through the training course we aim to address such gap,” she added.
The 23-day training course will be conducted every weekend until June 2 this year to accommodate professionals who have works on Mondays to Fridays.
The 27 participants are composed of graduating college students, retired professionals, artists and even medical doctors, among others.
The course will prepare them for the tour guiding profession later on, Mansinares said.
Mansinares said apart from the lectures, there will be written and oral exams as part of the assessment.
Familiarization tours, field work, and researches are also included in the module which the participants should pass in order to graduate.
They are only given up to two absences. Graduates will receive certificate of completion from the three partnering-organizations.
Mansinares said they recognized the vital role of tour guides in the realization of the province’s tourism development programs.
Mansinares stressed that tour guides have to immerse and be knowledgeable enough in building the image of a place.
“Tour guides allow tourists to make their experience more memorable and informative,” she said, adding that “they also enable tourists to love more Negros Occidental as a destination.” (EPN)