DOT 6: Beat ‘colorum’ tour guides
IN ORDER to beat “colorum” guides, the top official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas has recognized the need to strengthen the presence of accredited tour guides in the region including Negros Occidental.
DOT Region 6 Director Helen Catalbas, who was the keynote speaker at the Regional Tour Guiding Training Graduation 2019 held at the Provincial Capitol’s Social Hall in Bacolod City on Saturday, said “colorum” guides are just “anybody” offering guiding services.
Catalbas, in his message, said the quality of services cannot be assured including the information shared if the industry is dominated by non-accredited tour guides.
“Count yourselves as among those who will really promote Negros Occidental, Western Visayas and Philippines,” she told the graduates.
It can be recalled that the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, through its Tourism Division, has produced 25 new Dot-trained tour guides in the province.
These tour guides form part of the 27 participants of the weekly Tour Guiding Training Course starting March this year.
They graduated after completing and passing the 23-day training course conducted every weekend until June 2 this year.
For her part, Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares said, though they are trained now, it is vital for this batch of tour guides to practice what they have learned including the knowledge and technical
Mansinares said trained guides have to continue reading more about the province, region and country.
“Tour guiding is very dynamic as every now and then, the figures are changing. There are updates on information as well as on various issues that might be shared,” she said, adding that the graduates should organize themselves so they can be easily tapped.
In support to the statement of Catalbas, the provincial tourism official said the DOT cannot entertain complaints from tour operators and other enterprises who are getting services from guides not certified by the agency.
This is one of the negative impacts if the industry is dominated by the presence of “colorum” guides, Mansinares said.
“Now that we have a pool of tour guides that can be utilized, we can already encourage tour enterprises to get their services,” she added.
Currently, there are only seven Dot-accredited tour guides in Negros Occidental.
The accreditation for the 25 new trained tour guides is already on process and up for approval within the year.
The training course on tour guiding was initiated by the Negros Occidental Tourism Division, Dotwestern Visayas and Tourism Educators and Movers Philippines-western Visayas.
This is on top of specialized tour guiding activities being conducted in the province like bird watching and farm tour guiding.
The graduates were composed of graduating college students, retired professionals, artists and even medical doctors, among others.*
DOT-WESTERN Visayas team led by Regional Director Helen Catalbas (ninth from left) with Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares (eight from right) and other provincial government officials, and 25 trained tour guides during their graduation rites at the Provincial Capitol’s Social Hall in Bacolod City on Saturday.