Daintree training program
THE Wet Tropics Management Authority has developed a training program for the best tour guides and will be holding schools in the Daintree to ensure conservation and tourism aligns.
The WTMA released a snapshot report on its World Heritage management recently in a symposium hosted by The Australian Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Cairns.
The report highlighted the organisation’s practices to the top dogs of conservation, including Federal and State Environment Ministers, including the guide training initiative.
WTMA manager of tourism and strategic partnerships Paul Chantrill said the course is a formal certificate three competency-based program to become a tour guide related specifically to the Wet Tropics.
“It’s such an important place for tourism in Australia and we wanted to support skills development for our guides, to acquire skills, professionalise and give recognition to the really good knowledge and potential for it to be the best of the best, that’s our vision,” he said.
“It’s all about raising the bar, to guarantee a really great tourism experience for visitors and reinforces our roles as the Wet Tropics Management Authority as part of the tourism industry.
“The exciting thing is this is stage one, stage two is coming up very soon with the initiation of the inaugural Wet Tropics guide field schools, starting in December in the Daintree.
“We’ve got three elements of the package to raise the bar for tourism, one is the online course, two is the field schools to get out in the country and three will be ongoing network based on Facebook for resource-sharing.”
The package is aimed at boosting tourism in the Wet Tropics and will see tour guides who undergo the training accredited with badges and endorsed by the WTMA.
“We’ve had a very good response, we are running the first of the guide schools in the Daintree partly because that’s where we had a lot of interest, about 40 per cent of all people who have done the course are from your part of the world,” Mr Chantrill said.
“We’re helping strengthen our tourism industry by being certified and when you graduate you will be recognised as a Wet Tropics World Heritage area guide.
“We also want to endorse those operators dedicated to employing and supporting guides with great knowledge to give the best guiding experience and help support the emergence of new indigenous businesses like the Mossman Gorge Centre.
“They’re the natural and historical protectors of the World Heritage area and it’s important to find ways to support them and play a meaningful role, being rangers and guides.”
For more information about the Wet Tropics Guide Field Schools go to www.wettropics. gov.au and follow the links.