THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, through its Tourism Division, has produced 25 new tour guides trained by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said these tour guides form part of the 27 participants of the weekly Tour Guiding Training Course which started in March this year.
Mansinares said they completed and passed the 23-day training course conducted every weekend until June 2.
“Their certification as trained tour guides is one of the requirements in applying for DOT accreditation,” she said, adding that the accreditation will serve as license for them to provide services among tour operators and tourism enterprises.
The training course on tour guiding was initiated by the Negros Occidental Tourism Division, DOT-Western Visayas and Tourism Educators and Movers Philippines-Western Visayas.
The participants were composed of graduating college students, retired professionals, artists and even medical doctors, among others.
The training included lectures, written and oral exams as part of the assessment, familiarization tours, field work, and researches.
The graduation rites is set this month which will be attended by officials of the three partnering-organizations.
Equipped with personality and social skills, technical know-how and wealth of information about Negros Occidental, this batch of tour guides is looking forward to serving tourism enterprises and tourists very soon, Mansinares said.
She reiterated the need to address the gap particularly in terms of having few number of DOT-accredited tour guides amid big events like meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibition (Mice) in the province.
At present, there are only seven DOT-accredited tour guides in Negros Occidental.
“This batch is a potential addition to our existing tour guides. They are really a big help in the industry,” Mansinares said, adding that “we hope they will become DOT-accredited and really serve as tour guides.”
Moreover, the said training course is on top of specialized tour guiding activities being conducted in the province like bird watching and farm tour guiding.
Given the huge contribution of the tourism industry in the local economy, the provincial government has recognized the role of tour guides in its further development.
Mansinares earlier said tour guides act as representatives of the province and play a significant role in ensuring tourist satisfaction.
Considered as ambassadors, tour guides present Negros Occidental in a way that will encourage tourists to come back to the province, she reiterated.
“They also serve as information officers helping the tourists understand the province’s culture and experience its vast offerings,” the tourism official added.
Another batch of tour guides in the province is eyed for the same training course next year.