WINDHOEK: Public-private-partnership (PPP) is crucial for the implementation of the regulations relating to tour guides in Namibia.
This is the view of Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) Digu //Naobeb during a consultative workshop on tour guide regulations at a local hotel here on Tuesday.
The event is the last of a number of similar meetings held country-wide after NTB had consultations with various stakeholders and recently completed a draft of a tour guide regulations document.
“We cannot rush to implement these regulations as public-private-partnership is needed for the implementation of this tour guide regulations,” he said.
//Naobeb noted that NTB with input from the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) and other stakeholders in the industry developed a Level Three tour guide qualification accredited by the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA) that facilitated the start of the current tour guide regulations.
Twenty-four modules make up a total of 78 formal classroom training days that are required to train apprentice tour guides for a Level Three tour guide qualification of the national qualifications framework (NQF). Spread over two years this amounts to 8 weeks of formal training per year.
A total of 150 tour guides are qualified in the country while about 400 are operating in the industry.
However, //Naobeb suggested that mechanisms should be put in place to accommodate those who studied hospitality and tourism but their qualifications are not recognized in the country.
Meanwhile, at the same occasion, Director Tourism and Gambling Sam Shikongo noted that the tour guide regulations’ document will be refined so that the regulations become effective tools to address some of the bottlenecks identified in the tourism sector.
“There is a need for curriculum, training, standards and a qualification framework for tour guides,” he noted.
The tourism sector is the third contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On behalf of the Governor of Khomas Region Samuel Nuuyoma, his Special Advisor Moses !Omeb noted that government has recognized the importance of the industry which provide citizens a better future.
“This consultation is long overdue,” Nuuyoma noted.
Nuuyoma said bottlenecks identified in the tourism sector, such as the lack of national tour guide regulations, will only be addressed if stakeholders give meaningful inputs during the workshop.
Tour guide regulations are meant to, among others, register tour guide operators in the country, regulate tour guides’ operations and protect the industry from ‘fly-by-night’ tour guides.
The workshop was conducted under the theme ‘Symbol of Quality Tour Guiding in the Land of the Brave’.