North West Tourism on training for tourist guides

In its endeavour to create a conducive environment for youth entrepreneurship and create methods which will enhance the fight against unemployment within the tourism sector in villages, townships and small dorpies, the National Department of Tourism and the North West Provincial Department of Tourism will for the next three months give ten young people an opportunity to become qualified and registered tourist guides.

This will be done through a three months NQF level 2 certificate in culture site guide training which recently commenced at the Taung Hotel and Convention Centre in the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.

Deputy Manager for Tourist Guiding, Growth and Development at the National Department of Tourism, Bakang Makolomakwe said the purpose of the training is to ensure that new entrants were brought into the tourist guiding subsector. We need young people to play meaningful part in tourist guiding and assist in dealing with the scotch of poverty and unemployment in this country.

This is an NQF level 2 certificate which upon completion will afford these young people an opportunity to better their lives. We want to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth even though we know the challenges that are faced by our country with regards to unemployment in general. This is a qualification that is acquired to assist the tourist guides to become legally compliant and professionally recognized in the subsector, said Makolomakwe.

She added that the National Department of Tourism will continue assisting provinces in capacitating tourist guides and contribute towards the growth and development of the sector.

Going forward in terms of the next financial year planning, we are hoping to come up with some new innovative ways of improving, we will look at other methods outside just providing training or capacity building initiatives to tourist guides. In the meantime we maintain that this training will help aspiring guides because they will now be accredited and registered tourist guides. Which means that when opportunities arise they will be able to compete and participate within the subsector. We hope that all relevant stakeholders within this subsector will be willing to work together and ensure that where there are opportunities they take our tourist guides and utilise them as we will not recognize anybody as a tourist guide until they have a qualification and they are registered with both the provincial and national registrar, she added.

Supporting the course and assisting in ensuring the realization of this course, Manger for Local Economic Development at Greater Taung Local Municipality, Tshepang Baloyi said that this training was as a results of good working relations between the provincial department of Tourism, the district municipality and the local municipality. She said they work closely in capacitating local unemployed youth in relevant skills programs.

This is the reason why the department has deemed fit it to bring this training to Taung, we need to capacitate our youth in tourist guiding. In this area there is a dire need for such training because this area is rich in tourism and we have products and projects which needs to be packaged and we don’t have enough young people to assume responsibilities of a qualified and registered tourist guide. As the municipality we appreciate this kind of training, these young people will now be qualified and registered tourist guides and when there are employment opportunities within the municipality in this subsector they will be the first to be considered, Baloyi said.

The participants are from various areas across that Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District. One such is Mothusi Maine of Bloemhof near Christian who said was hopeful that the training will be able to equip them with the necessary tools to be able to actively participate within the subsector.

I am hoping to turn my life around. I hope that this will inspire me to start my own tourism business. We are really grateful for the opportunity as we are from the most rural villages of this province where nothing ever happens. Information about opportunities such as this one is very scarce and I’m grateful that I was able to apply, got interviewed and now I’m part of the ten aspiring tourist guide in this district, said Maine.

The training will run in phases for at least three months and upon completion as part of their assessment for competency, trainees will be expected to create a route for a guided tour. They will conduct this tour under supervision of a training facilitator.

Source: Government of South Africa