Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Illegal Tourist Guides

This media statement was released by the office of Alan Winde, Western Cape Tourism Minister:

Western Cape Tourism Minister, Alan Winde, joined inspectors from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to conduct an illegal Tourist Guide inspection.
This operation follows complaints from members of the public, tourists and registered Tourist Guides.

Winde said: "Currently, there is no effective policing system in place to identify illegal Tourist Guides. This has resulted in a large number of people operating as guides without the required training or authorisation. Illegal guides take work from legal guides, and in some instances, harm the industry by providing a shoddy service. Ahead of International Tourist Guide Day tomorrow (Monday, 21st of February), it is our duty to raise awareness about illegal guiding and put a stop to it."

In taking a proactive approach to combating it, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has appointed a team of dedicated inspectors to ensure that illegal guiding is curbed.

Between April 2010 and the end of January this year, 152 out of a total of 866 guides inspected were found to be operating illegally. There are currently 3,308 registered Tourist Guides in the Western Cape.

Illegal guides have been issued with warning letters ordering them to cease operating with immediate effect until they are registered.

As well as keeping a database of illegal guides, the inspectors monitor them closely to ensure that they do not continue working.

Institutions such as SANParks have come on board with this initiative by restricting tourist guide privileges to those that show valid registration cards.

Winde concluded: "This inspection was just one of many inspections that the Department conducts. In 2011/12, we will significantly ramp up our efforts to combat illegal guides. We will no longer tolerate a small group of people giving an entire industry, upon which the livelihood of many depends, a bad name".

Media Enquiries:
Tammy Evans
Spokesperson for Minister Alan Winde
Tel: 021 483 4327
Fax: 021 483 3892

For information on how to become a legal tourist guide visit Drum Beat Academy's Tourism & Event Support website.

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