Some 57 tour guides have completed a specialised training programme that aims to hone their skills and make them eligible for an official tour guide licence, implemented by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) last year, it was announced.
The initiative is part of several that have been introduced by QTA to raise the standard of tourism service providers and further regulate the tourism sector.
QTA began offering courses in February 2017 to practising tour guides and eligible residents interested in taking up this activity.
Trainers from the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations are conducting courses, and by completing the course and passing the related assessments, tour guides meet the code of standards associated with the QTA-issued licences for tour guides, which was developed based on international best practices and in consultation with the UN World Tourism Organisation.
“Visitor experience is at the heart of our five-year strategy 2017-2023, and we are working closely with all tourism-facing entities to enhance the experience at every touch point of the visitor’s journey,” said Mohamed al-Ansari, director of Tourism Licensing at QTA.
“Tour guides play a crucial role in shaping tourists’ experiences of a destination; that is why we developed a code of standards for those operating in this field, and a tour guide training programme to equip them with the tools to meet those standards,” he said.
“In the second phase of the programme, we will be focusing on developing the skills of specialist guides, such as desert safari drivers and tour guides leading Chinese tour groups,” al-Ansari added.
The tour guide training programme is developed by QTA in collaboration with other government entities and organisations, which contribute to the course content to ensure that guides deliver fruitful information about Qatar’s history, culture and ecosystem.
QTA is offering additional courses until early May, and limited spaces are still available in some of the courses.