PROFFESIONAL STANDARD FOR DRIVER GUIDES EXPENSIVE BUT IMPORTANT.

Recently, It was announced by Mr. Herbert Byaruhanga, the chairperson of the Uganda Safari Guides Association in partnership with all the stakeholders like Association of Uganda Tour Operators and Uganda Tourism Board that the major tourism industry regulators are looking forward to issuing minimum standards for someone to operate as a tourist guide in Uganda as one of the ways to achieve the grand goal of having the Tourism sector,ICT sector and agriculture to be prime drivers to making Uganda a middle class economy by 2025.

A careful study of the industry about why, in spite of several attempts to getting on top of our game in the tourism industry, minimal progress has been achieved in comparison with other countries like Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, and others…spelt out that few rooms and low quality accommodation and lack of professional personnel to handle the industry were the major problems.

So the head of the guides themselves has decided to crack the whip on colleagues who are not professional and are untrained by urging the Investors in the Industry to employ only the qualified, experienced and professional guides if our goal is to be achieved.

If this is done, we expect to see multiple improvements in the industry, and we, the stakeholders (tour operators) will in the end benefit from the increased business since many people will come here.

Driver guides are very important because they are the ones that spend most of the time with the tourists and they do much of the marketing to our country, so fellow investors, please welcome this initiative although you will have to bear the costs of training your drive guides which will in turn increase your operating costs.

He Also stressed that in some cases, you find the tourists who are more experienced than the guides and they end up guiding the guides which breeds misunderstandings since the driver claims to be in sole command of the trip, and the clients claim to be the number one bosses since they pay “a lot of money”, making the whole trip boring and disastrous, we the tourism investors are the ones who loose directly although the guides loose in long run, since they earn from the trips themselves.

Forexample,a guide who is conducting a birding tour, but does not know how a kingfisher looks like….and the client read about it from a book…imagine that situation or a guide conducting a wildlife safari, but cant identify a warthog during  game drive…….

Bye for now…..

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