Tourism on establishment of professional bodies for tourist guides

In response to enquiries regarding an association referred to as the Institute of Professional Tourist Guides”, the Department of Tourism would like to provide clarity to the sector and clear any misconceptions in the guiding community about the process of becoming a registered and recognised tourist guide.

According to the National Registrar of Tourist Guides, Ms Morongoe Ramphele, the Tourism Act, no. 3 of 2014 (Act) is the only legislation in the country which provides for the regulation and licensing of tourist guides in South Africa, including the procedures and requirements that tourist guide applicants are expected to adhere to.

Amongst others, the requirements to becoming a registered tourist guide includes: obtaining the relevant tourist guide competencies and qualifications and adhering to the prescribed code of conduct and ethics for tourist guides. Only applicants who are successfully registered are permitted to conduct tours.

I would like to clear any misconception that relates to the term professional. I am of the view that being professional goes beyond simply adhering to the legislation or belonging to an association, it also describes the inherent qualities that the guide possesses that relates to passion, dedication and commitment to the guiding profession. It is also a personal responsibility and interest in ensuring that one is in possession of the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges and expectations of our dynamic tourism sector, said Ramphele.

Tourist guides have the freedom to associate with any organisation that seeks to promote and serve their best interests. However, it is important to note that this is done on a voluntary basis. Tourist guides are encouraged to be vigilant when seeking membership with various associations. Prospective professional bodies seeking recognition as such must contact the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and follow the required processes as prescribed by the NQF Act, no. 67 of 2008. Although this is a legislated process, it does not replace the provisions set out in the Tourism Act for tourist guides.

Source: Government of South Africa