The tailor-made training for guides from various tour operating firms was provided in collaboration with tourism sector stakeholders in slots of one-month period per class.
CAWM Coordinator of Guide Training, Fidel Kimario who is also a lecturer at the college said in an interview here yesterday that the training is vital for the sustainable handling of various tourist needs climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Meru, and other trekkers.
- named some of the issues they learnt as general ecology and zonation on mountains particularly on Mount Kilimanjaro, customer care for tourists, the mountain’s geological features, wilderness skills, mountain safety and rescue in modern practical ways.
“As you know, tourism is the leading economic sector is Tanzania, currently accounting for 17.2% of GDP, 25 per cent of total foreign exchange earnings and employs nearly two million people directly or indirectly. Tour guides are key frontline players in the tourism industry and play a big role in impacting memories and experiences for tourists visiting our country and marketing this destination. Currently there are more than five thousand tour guides in the country in categories of safari, mountain, cultural, marine and city guides,” the lecturer explained.
He highlighted the fact that the basic training for tour guides comes in different shapes and sizes, conducted by various institutions both private and public, using different curricular as there is a no standardized and harmonized curriculum for tour guides training in the country.
“These guides are currently not registered and furthermore, there is a lack of professional ethics and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the tour guiding profession. This has led to inconsistent service delivery and sometimes complaints from tourists in regard to their performance, a situation which hinders the growth of tourism.” he further noted.
CAWM-Mweka has started providing special courses to tourists’ guides since 2018 to join government efforts via plans by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
It seeks to undertake a countrywide exercise of tour guides registration, certification and accreditation in compliance with the Tourism Act No. 11 of 2008 section 42, when read together with Tourism (Tour Guides) Regulations of 2013 and the Guidelines on Registration and Licensing of Tourism Operators, he said.
“The law requires that tour guides be registered, certified and licensed in order to operate in the industry, which is currently not the case in many instances,” the coordinator stated.
CAWM-Mweka is going to conduct special courses for guides next month targeted at standardizing the quality of services and working knowledge for mountain guides for sustainable tourism.
Commenting on the special courses, the Kili Meru Mountain Guides Society (KMMGS) chairman Faustine Chombo said that the courses have come at the right time as the society is facing challenges of globalization.
“We are going to use the skills that we obtained here for Mt. Kilimanjaro and Meru sustainable tourism,” he stated.