PORT ST. MAARTEN – International Tourist Guide Day is observed internationally on 21 February each year. In 1990, it was observed for the first time by 15 countries. Since then, it has grown.
Tourist guides play a very important role in today’s tourism and hospitality sector. It is a day to celebrate the skills of professional tourist guides according to the World Federation of Tourism Guide Associations (WFTGA).
Port St. Maarten Group (PSG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs would like to commend the tourist guides of St. Maarten/Saint-Martin for their essential services that they provide to the islands tourism sector.
“Tourist guides are necessary, and are the first persons who come into contact with our guests whether it be stay-over who land at the Princess Juliana International Airport, or cruise passengers who come ashore at Port St. Maarten.
“The tourist guide who fall within several categories, such as taxi drivers, tour bus operators etc., are the ambassadors of the destination who convey a wide variety of information to our visitors, whether about the culture and history of our island, to important places to visit and enjoy during their stay.
“We acknowledge them on this special day; we value their positions and the important role that they play in tourism. They are part and parcel of the overall visitor experience, happy international tourist guide day,” Gumbs said on Monday.
A Tourist Guide is a person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate authority, according to a resolution adopted by the WFTGA at its 10th Convention in Dunblane in 2003.
This is distinct from a tour manager: Tour Manager/Tour Director or Escort: A person who manages an itinerary on behalf of the tour operator ensuring the programme is carried out as described in the tour operator’s literature and sold to the traveller/consumer and who gives local practical information.