The group received their certificate of competency from the hands of the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune.
This was in a short ceremony at the Department’s headquarters at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri, on Friday November 17, 2017.
It followed their three-day training conducted by STA’s Head of Studies, Tourism and Tour Guiding, Cecile Zelia, during which they were given the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes needed when conducting tours of the island. Topics covered 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.
Ms Zelia said: “We also had a practical session where they all had to conduct part of a tour of the island, as a way of putting into practice what they learnt during the sessions.”
Aside of 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 prerequisite 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.
PS Lafortune congratulated the new batch of individuals pursuing their ambition to start their tour guiding operations and called on them to put their improved knowledge and skills to good use.
“Recently, the Seychelles Tourism Board launched a new hiking guide in Paris, which provides details on trails in Seychelles. The visitors will now have this document and will be wanting to go to these trails, so it will be up to the tour guides to take them on these trails,” Mrs Lafortune said.
“You are front liners who get to interact with visitors to our shores and our aim as the Department of Tourism and STA is to help raise the level of service be it from the hotels, tour guides, commission agents, among others, by organizing such training,” she added.
PS Lafortune noted that they have been receiving increased demand for such a course from prospective tour guides. The recent training is the first to be organized this year, although the Department of Tourism has been organizing such training for several years in collaboration with STA. A similar course is planned for mid-December.