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REPORT ON TOURIST GUIDES TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE FOR TOURISM 23 AUGUST 2011. PURPOSE. To present the current status quo with respect to tourist guides in South Africa. To highlight important aspects of the policy and legislative frameworks pertaining to tourist guides.
Among other matters the code covers
Attitudes & values such as willingness to provide support, quality of service, enthusiasm for S.A, punctual, honest, reliable, conscientious, tactfulness, sensitivity, treat all people, culture and environment with respect, non-discriminatory, impartial, unbiased & positive and represent S.A objectively.
Be knowledgeable, suitably dressed, provide correct information, company loyalty.
Deal with conflict, safety of tourists, sobriety while on duty, timely report incidents.
Wear the appropriate tourist guiding identification
National and Provincial registrars are provided for in the 2nd Amendment Act.
The duties and responsibilities are outlined for both types of registrars.
The national registrar is an official appointed by the minister for tourism and his/her name has to be published i n the government gazette.
The provincial registrar is appointed by the MEC responsible for tourism in that province and also published in the provincial gazette.
KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape are in the process of appointing their provincial registrars.
The national registrar convenes quarterly meetings of all registrars coordinating and reporting on tourist guiding
Professional driving permits are required is one is driving tourists around.
Provisions in section 21 (h) of the 2nd amendment act (section 4 and 5) which states that a tourist guide may not drive a vehicle with more than 10 persons and at the same act as a guide may be problematic in terms of the provision of the driving permits
The land transport act, no. 5 of 2009 and the public drivers permit, the land transport act – key provisions:
The National Public Transport Regulator must accredit operators of tourist services if satisfied that they are : fit and proper persons or entities to transport tourists in a manner that is safe and will promote S.A as a tourist destination; and have access to acceptable vehicles and maintenance facilities.
Keep a register of accredited tourist operators which is available for inspection to any interested person on request or payment of fee.
Section 4.4 of the NTSS makes provision of dealing with matters relating to tourist guides.
It highlights the need to avoid duplication of applications through the streamlining of legislation for ground transport and operations.
Need to ensure the issuance of first aid certificates and tourist guides registration are coordinated and aligned to run concurrently.
The need for effective and strict policing of tour operations and guides
The recommendations of the strategy broadly cover the following areas:
Education-training & development,
Database management, monitoring-evaluation of trained tourist guides.
Regulating the industry covers: non-compliance, role & appointment of registrars, fines and fees, alignment of national & provincial legislation, creation of it system for registration, cross-border registration & licensing, harmonisation of cross-border standards.
Institutional framework covers: capacity and resource matters, role of municipalities, roles and services provide by associations to members, guidelines for employer/employee relations for tourist guides
Education, training and development covers: to regulate on programme, practical experience , qualification and content, first aid as a unit standard in qualifications, relevance to tourist guiding , specialisation, NDT-CATHSSETA and associations to work together on certification, monitoring and compliance, training providers to get work experience for tourist guides, cross-border training programme.
Registration and database management covers: review definitions of the various categories of guides, guide selection to be done by panel interview, extend registration to 3 years, electronic system for marketing and knowledge portal.
Monitoring and evaluation covers: increase powers of registrars to monitor compliance, role of associations and compliance, awareness among law enforcers, increase in fines, visits to training institutions.
Problems have arisen between S.A tourist guides and foreign tourist guides from other SADC countries.
Foreign tourist guides complain that they need permits to conduct tourist guiding in South Africa (Namibia).
S.A tourist guides complain that foreign tourist guides must have the requisite qualifications in term of S.A law to undertake tourist guiding in the Republic.
Transport legislation and regulations also affect both foreign and S.A tourist guides when they need to conduct tours across SADC borders.
The department of transport administers the cross-border road transport act – provisions differ in other countries-Botswana charging high vehicle fee.
Qualifications and legislation in SADC countries not aligned.
The department has started a process to harmonize standards across SADC.
The channel through which this will take is the SADCSTAN (SADC COPERATION IN STANDARDIZATION) Which is a standards committee of the SADC and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is the Secretariat.
For standards to be harmonized one of the member countries may submit a draft framework to the secretariat for consideration.
This will be discuss and processed by the relevant standards technical committee.
The Department intends to develop a draft framework in consultation with relevant stakeholders and submit this to the technical committee.
Possible areas for harmonisation of standards will be tourist guiding qualifications, safety and first aid, code of ethics and conduct, recognition of SADC qualifications.
The Federation has been established to organise tourist guides into a single federation for South Africa.
Federation is currently registering itself as a section 21 company.
Formal relations between NDT and the federation will be established.
The federation has been working together with NDT & recently partnered with NDT on the international tourist guide day.
Currently provincial member associations are relating to provincial registrars.
Much more work has to done as the development of provincial associations is uneven through out the country.
This union for tourist guides has been established mainly in the Western Cape.
It presented its constitution and membership at the last meeting of the registrars in Cape Town.
Membership is currently 54 and only from the Western Cape but the union hopes to gradually expand membership to other provinces.
The union has applied to be registered with the Department of Labour and has thus far been granted provisional registration
First celebration of the day took place in Johannesburg in 2008 and in 2009 in Limpopo province.
In 2011 the NDT partnered with Gauteng tourism authority, City of Tshwane, FSATGA, to celebrate the day in Pretoria.
However, provinces also organise for the celebrations as did Limpopo, KZN, North West, Northern Cape & Western Cape in 2010/2011.
Celebrations held in February 2011 were a huge success, Guides with hearing impairments demonstrated their enthusiasm.
The event was covered widely in electronic and print media.
Limpopo volunteered to host the celebrations for 2011/2012
All current legislation and regulations require review and alignment and include matters pertaining to the further enhancement of the professionalisation of tourist guiding and take into account the provisions of the published Tourism Bill.
Timely appointments of provincial registrars, and greater support and resourcing of their activities.
Effective enforcement against illegal guiding.
Harmonisation of standards and resolution of matters relating to cross-border tourism.
Labour relations issues .
Monitoring & evaluating the training of tourist guides
Implementation of the strategy to profesionalise tourist guiding.
Conduct awareness workshops in the provinces and fraternity to participate in implementing the strategy.
Draft a framework for the harmonisation of tourist guiding standards across the SADC and submit this to the SADCSTAN.
Convene quarterly meetings with the provincial registrars to implement the strategy.
Undertake further refinement and integration of the registration system.
Develop regulations for the new bill, in consultation with the industry.
Facilitate international tourist guides day celebrations with provincial registrars and associations