What is a Tourist Guide?

EN 13809 2003/ ENISO 18513 2003

Adopted by World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations: 10th International Convention: Dunblane, United Kingdom 2003.

Tourist Guide

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 recognized by the appropriate authority.

This is distinct from a tour manager defined by CEN as follows:

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 traveler/consumer and who gives local practical information.

Note: Tour managers may or may not be tourist guides as well. They are not trained or licensed to work in specific areas unless they have the proper requirements or legal right, depending on the region.

The Code of Guiding Practice

Assurance of high level professionalism

Adherence to the WFTGA Code of Guiding Practice provides an assurance of the high level of professionalism and a value-added service offered by the individual guides to their clients. Tourist Guide Associations which belong to the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations accept on behalf of their members WFTGA's principles and aims:

•     To provide a professional service to visitors, professional in care and commitment, and professional in providing an objective understanding of the place visited, free from prejudice or propaganda.

•     To ensure that as far as possible what is presented as fact is true, and that a clear distinction is made between this truth and stories, legends, traditions, or opinions.

•     To act fairly and reasonable in all dealings with all those who engage the services of guides and with colleagues working in all aspects of tourism.

•     To protect the reputation of tourism in our country by making every Endeavour to ensure that guided groups treat with respect the environment, wildlife, sights and monuments, and also local customs and sensitivities.

•     As representatives of the host country to welcome visitors and act in such a way as to bring credit to the country visited and promotes it as a tourist destination.

WFTGA has also signed up to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics