A FIVE day intensive tour guide training was conducted for locals at Tetepare Island, Western Province recently.
The training was led by Bjorn Svensson – a tourism technical advisor.
Mr Svensson said the aim of the training is to teach participants how to plan and manage guided tours and activities for tourists.
About 13 trainees from Rendova Island participated in the five day training.
Mr Svensson said a majority of the trainees are working on Tetepare Island’s Baniata Village Leatherback Turtle Conservation project and a Western Province tourism officer based in Munda.
“The trainees are a mix of current guides and conservation rangers, and also some new staff,” he said.
The tour guide training covered seven modules and they are;
- Introduction to tourism;
- Introduction to tour guiding;
- Tour guide knowledge;
- Tour commentary;
- Tours and activities;
- Tour management; and
- Tour safety & risk management.
Mr Svensson said the importance of guide training have always been known in conservation areas.
He said Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Solomon Islands developed the training with funding from Blue Action Fund.
The project is an initiative of Dr Alec Hughes from WCS office in Munda.
The training and manual was developed by Mr Svensson, who has worked in Solomons since 2017.
Mr Svensson said the last day of the training is a practical component where trainees need to demonstrate various guide skills, such and briefings, tour commentary and group management.
Last year a similar training for tour guides on Kolombangara was also conducted at Imbu Rano.
Following the completion of work done by WCS, the training package and manual has been handed over to the Ministry of Tourism, which will continue guide trainings throughout the nation.
Interested organisations and regions can contact MCT to request training.
The manual is available for download on: https://library.wcs.org/doi/ctl/view/mid/33065/pubid/DMX4312200000.aspx
By MOFFAT MAMU