The National Registrar of Tourist Guides is required by the law to monitor trends in the tourist guiding sector, facilitate the growth and development of the sector and to improve and maintain standards. The Office of the National Registrar has come up with number of initiatives to achieve this.
These initiatives target a national and international audience to:
In contemporary tourism, tourist guides are an important medium for conveying environmental messages; enhancing destination image and implementing the goals of responsible tourism. As most tourists only view their surroundings from a leisure perspective - guides have the ability to present and interpret information which gives more effect to the way tourists perceive an attraction and understand local culture and heritage.
Awareness inspections are conducted to:
International Tourist Guide Day is held on 21st February each year. Celebrations were held for the first time in 1990 by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) at which time only 15 countries around the world participated and jointly celebrated this special day. Over the years, awareness about this day has grown and to date, more than 70 countries celebrate this event worldwide.
In South Africa this day is celebrated with activities and programmes ranging from presentations, motivational talks, excursions and workshops. The objectives of the celebrations are to showcase tour guiding in South Africa by making the industry and the general public aware of tourist guiding profession. Furthermore, it is to honour and recognise tourist guides that have excelled in their profession and lastly it provides a platform for tourist guides across South Africa to network, discuss challenges within the sector and to share best practices.