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General News Sun, 29 May 2005

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Tour guiding is important to tourism devt - Jake

Accra May 29, GNA - Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, has urged tour guides to ensure that tourists derived maximum satisfaction from their visits to the country by handling them with professional touch of efficiency. He described tour guiding as the most important tourism job and said tourists needed satisfaction and a tour guide determined how enjoyable a tourist site was.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey was speaking at the end of training programme organized by the Ministry with support from the Egyptian Government for tour guides.

He said tour guiding was a profession, however, less than 15 per cent of those employed in the hospitality industry have professional training, hence his sector's decision to train those already on the job. The three weeks training programme took participants through topics including, "tour guiding principles, marketing strategies and the importance of tour guiding."

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said: "Tour guiding is not a small job...you have to get the stories behind the stories and be committed to knowing more.

"Tour guide training in Morocco takes eight years, Egypt has a full degree programme in tour guiding," he said, and urged the participants to take advantage of the training programme and learn more. He commended the Egyptian Government for the support.

Mr Samir Abou Deif, an Expert in International Tourism from Egypt, told the participants that a tour guide must know his people and his community well as they linked tourists to their community.

"A tour guide is not the one who talks about the site, he is the link between the tourist and his community," he said. He urged participants to put what they have learnt in the past three weeks to good use.

Source: GNA

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