South Africa Celebrates International Tourist Guides Day
On 21st February 2005 South Africa will join the rest of the world in celebrating the 16-year old
International Tourist Guides Day. In 1989, during the Third International Convention of the World
Federation of Tourist Guide Association, members of the association pondered at ideas to promote
awareness about professional tourists guides amongst the public. The result was the celebration of the
first International Tourist Guide Day that was held in 1990 with 15 countries participating.
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be celebrating the Day in the Western Cape
as a national event under the theme “Fighting Against Illegal Tourist Guiding” “Have you asked for the
Badge & ID Card registration proof from your Tourist Guide?” This theme is part of the national plan to
combat illegal guiding, which will be launched on the day.
“This day is of importance to the tourist guiding fraternity and we believe that it should be used to lift the
profile of tourist guiding in the country as an honest profession as well as an important link in the
tourism value chain” said Mr Lulamile Stuurman, Acting National Registrar of Tourist Guides.
Activities to celebrate the day are to include visits to popular tourist attractions in Cape Town by the
National and Provincial Registrar together with the Western Cape Provincial MEC for Economic
Development & Tourism where they will inspect whether Tourist Guides are carrying their ID Cards and
Badges as required by the Law. Furthermore, there will be an exhibition stand in the city centre manned
by Tourist Guides, giving information on Tourist Guiding as a professional career.
“Other than the travel operator and the Internet, the real contact that the tourist has with South Africa is
through a tour guide. In fact most letters that DEAT receives from tourists who share their experiences
in the country, sing praises about the knowledge and professionalism of tour guides more than the
operators who packaged their tours! Tour guides are indeed our ambassadors, as we all know that
tourism thrives on person-to-person encounters,” commented Dr Patrick Matlou, Deputy Director-
General for Tourism.
Issued by: Edwin Sipho Rihlamvu
International Tourism Relations
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM
Tel: 27 (12) 310 3940
Fax: 27 (12) 322 5754
Mobile: 073 902 4504
Visit our website: www.deat.gov.za