WOTGA (Wales Official Tourist Guides Association) has welcomed 26 new members as accredited Green Badge Tourist Guides. Students from all over Wales were divided up into three regions: South East Wales, West Wales and North Wales. From October 2019 they were put through their paces learning guiding techniques, local, regional, national and UK wide knowledge. Practical experience was gained on board coaches, across heritage sites and in our cities and towns. New skills were introduced such as digital tour creation, virtual tourist guiding and attending courses in video making for social media.
Following a rigorous training programme, the new tourist guides are qualified to Federation of European Guides standards. It forms part of Visit Wales’ wider strategy to create more professional development and training opportunities across the tourism and hospitality sector in Wales, including tourist guiding services. As members of WOTGA, their qualification is a fully recognised accreditation across the UK and Europe.
The newly-qualified tourist guides come from a variety of interesting and relevant backgrounds, bringing a wealth of experience and their own individual, entertaining styles. The specially created Training Course ensures they are trained to the same professional standards. The individuals involved in the programme, detailed below, are also well placed to contribute fresh new ideas – working with agents, tour operators, coach operators and groups to bring these to the market in a cost-effective way.
Fiona Peel, WOTGA
With the market gradually opening up following a period of great uncertainty, it is an exciting time for tourism in Wales. Our new colleagues undoubtedly have a significant contribution to make. We wish them well, and urge those visiting Wales and those working within the industry to reach out and benefit from their expertise and in depth knowledge of the area. It will strengthen business opportunities and greatly enhance any visit to Wales, ensuring a trip to this unique and beautiful country is enjoyable, memorable and interesting."
In April 2022, the latest guides were able to meet for the presentation of their badges and certificates. All are fully qualified to undertake coach tours, walking tours and site visits in their region. Staycations have provided the biggest boost in domestic tourism that Wales has seen in decades. International visitors are returning steadily and tourism in Wales is very much open for business.
Find a guide to suit your tour on the Wales Best Guides website.