Pangasinan Tour Guides join Nat’l Confab on Tour Guiding
LINGAYEN --- Fifteen provincial tour guides represented the province of Pangasinan in the first-ever National Tour Guides Convention held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol last July 23-24 with the theme “Tour Guides 2010: Bridging the Gap.”
Considered as their first out-of-town Lakbay-Aral Tour, the Pangasinan tour guides expressed deep gratitude to Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. for giving them an opportunity to join with the professional tour guides in the country.
The organization of Pangasinan Tour Guides was an initiative of Gov. Espino during his first term to promote the province of Pangasinan as tourist destination, in both local and foreign tourists, as it already lagged behind from the country’s tourism map despite of its famous tourist spots.
Tourism Operations Division Chief Malou Elduayan said the conference served as an opportunity for active Pangasinan tour guides to become more productive in their tour guiding aside from their work on their respective offices.
Last year, the province thru its provincial tourism office had trained more than 30 provincial employees on tour guiding. Of that number, 15 have been active in tour guiding services and 10 of them have been accredited by the Department of Tourism.
From then on, the Pangasinan tour guides become the frontliners in promoting the various tourism destinations of the province including the Provincial Capitol building and Sison Auditorium now called as the “cultural center of the North.”
More than 500,000 local visitors have already been toured around the Capitol complex since September 2008 to June 2010 that made Pangasinan as second province with the highest number of tourists’ arrivals, both foreign and local, in Region 1.
The convention, initiated by the Department of Tourism thru the Bohol Island Tour Guides Association of the Philippines aimed to strengthen the bonds of tour guides all over the country who serve as the key players of the tourism industry in the Philippines.
The two-day convention was attended by veterans and professional tour guides including the beginners in tour guiding profession from different provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Newly-installed Tourism Secretary Alberto Aldaba Lim, in his speech, encouraged the tour guides whom he called as “tourism players” to continue to love their profession as “you are the soul of our country.”
He said his office is bent to come up with a new tourism vision under the new Tourism Act of 2010 which would give more importance to the tour guiding profession.
As this developed, Bohol Governor Edgar M. Chatto, a former Representative of the 2nd District in Bohol who initiated R.A. 9593 otherwise known as Tourism Act of 2009 has challenged the tour guides from all over the country to work not as “competitors” in order to raise the standard of tour guiding in the country.
“Let us complement each other to maintain the dignity of your tour guiding profession in order to boost the country’s tourism industry which is an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development,” he stressed.
During the plenary session, various topics have been tackled which include the Ethics of Tour Guiding, Tour Guiding under the new Tourism Act, the Tourism Industry Landscape amidst Climate Change, and Impact of Cultural Differences in the Tour Guiding Industry.
Likewise, a workshop had been conducted by selected tour guides from different regions to formulate the Professional Tour Guides’ Code of Ethics and Promoting the Professional Tour Guides’ Welfare.
After the convention, the participants have visited the Bohol’s tourist spots which include the famous Chocolate Hills, Panglao Island, Tarsier Sanctuary, Baclayon and Dauis churches, man-made forest, Bee Farm Garden among others. (Merly R. Tibalao/PIO)