Five Pembrokeshire tour guides have been congratulated on achieving Wales’ highest tour guiding qualification - the Blue Badge - this week.
The members of the Pembrokeshire Tourist Guides Association were presented with the Wales Tourist Guide award by Ken Skates AM at a ceremony in Gregynog House in mid-Wales. They were among 21 guides who qualified from all over Wales.
The ceremony was the conclusion of almost three years of study for the Foundation Degree in Professional Tourist Guiding accredited by Llandrillo College and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Four of the five had previously achieved the ‘Pembrokeshire Green Badge’ qualification - together with 10 other students - in 2011. This project was overseen by the Port of Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire County Council, to provide guides for excursions trips for the cruise ships visiting Pembroke, Milford Haven and Fishguard.
Sarah Gerlach, one of the new Blue Badge guides, said she got the guiding bug as soon as she started working on her Pembrokeshire Green Badge.
“I knew from my first tour that I wanted to be more that an ‘occasional’ guide. I really wanted to guide further afield,” said Sarah, of Haverfordwest.
“It’s definitely worth it! We now have the prestigious Wales Blue Badge award in tourist guiding, and that will mean a huge difference to my tour guiding business.”
Fellow Blue Badge guide David Davies, also of Haverfordwest explained: “Many people ask the difference between Green and Blue Badges. The answer is that it’s just geography. The ‘Green’ is a regional level qualification and the ‘Blue’ covers the whole of Wales.
The qualifications are good timing, as a new website www.walesbestguides.com has just been launched. Visitors to the site can see guide profiles, select tours and book guides online.
All the Pembrokeshire tour guides, green and blue, hope this site will bring even more visitors to the county this summer.