Guid­ing light for guides

Call­ing for the need of insurance and pen­sion ben­e­fits for RLGs, Dr Ajay Singh, Pres­i­dent, TGFI, talks about chal­lenges faced by tour guides in In­dia.

TravTalk - India - - ASSOCIATION TALK - Manas Dwivedi

The apex or­gan­i­sa­tion of re­gional level guides of In­dia, Tourist Guides’ Fed­er­a­tion of In­dia (TGFI) has a strong net­work of over 4600 tour guides across the coun­try. Talk­ing about the aim and agenda of the fed­er­a­tion, Dr Ajay Singh, Pres­i­dent, TGFI says “We have around 4600 Re­gional Level Guides (RLGs) spread across all over In­dia. We have 17 as­so­ci­a­tions which are mem­bers of TGFI and are op­er­a­tional un­der one um­brella.”

Talk­ing about the chal­lenges faced by tour guides, Singh says that a num­ber of mea­sures should be taken to re­solve the is­sues. “Unau­tho­rised guides are the big­gest chal­lenge we are fac­ing. They are af­fect­ing our busi­ness since a num­ber of tour op­er­a­tors hire them be­cause their charges are cheaper. The unau­tho­rised guides are largely un­trained and are also a threat to the tourist’s se­cu­rity. In all the ca­su­al­ties cent of them are be­cause of unau­tho­rised tour guides.”

“All the RLGs are trained and li­censed by the Min­istry of tourism, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and are well equipped with knowl­edge of des­ti­na­tion and dif­fer­ent lan­guages to make every trav­eller’s jour­ney mer­rier. I urge tour op­er­a­tors to only use RLGs at all the ma­jor tourist spots,” he added.

Em­pha­sis­ing on the need of a na­tional tourism act, Singh says, “The tourism in­dus­try need a strong tourism act which can pro­tect the rights of not just tour guides but tour op­er­a­tors and other peo­ple of the in­dus­try.” He also stressed on im­prov­ing, pro­mot­ing and strength­en­ing tourism in In­dia with ded­i­cated guide­lines for the tourism in­dus­try.

Singh also ap­peals to the MOT to or­gan­ise more lan­guage cour­ses for tour guides to train them in for­eign lan­guages.

Unau­tho­rised guides are the biggets chal­lenge who are af­fect­ing our busi­ness since many tour op­er­a­tors hire them be­cause their charges are cheaper

Dr Ajay Singh Pres­i­dent

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