Dain­tree train­ing pro­gram

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - by ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.

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