by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- 45 tour guides begin training to become internationally certified
- Online training course is followed by written exam and video component
On Monday, 45 of Grenada’s cruise industry’s top tour guides began training to become internationally certified under the Aquila Tour Guide Excellence training programme.
The training programmes are offered by the Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence to help cruise destinations and tour operators around the world achieve excellence in their ports, tours, guides, and businesses.
Aquila representative, Claudine Pohl is a specialist in the field and will be conducting the training in Grenada over the next 4 days. She stated the programme teaches critical skills, from presentation skills to the logistics of conducting a tour, to dealing with difficult situations and managing risk. “We are going to go through six different areas; anywhere from understanding the cruise industry to understanding what it takes to become a good tour guide and how to go above and beyond and how to find those moments to engage with your guest and create magical moments for guest. Also, we will be talking about how to prepare so that you can prevent things from happening and last, we will be talking about risk management because that’s so important,” said Pohl.
The programme is an online course followed by a full assessment which includes a written exam and a video component. Tour guides will undergo a six-component training after which they will sit an exam. To obtain certification, a passing grade of 70% on both the written and video components is required.
“It’s going to be 4 days; 3 days of learning, 6 lessons and then on the last day we are going to be doing a certification… the exams are 80 questions and they need a pass mark of 70%. The second part will be a video portion because writing an exam will only tell you so much, but the video will tell you what kind of tour guide is this? Is this a good tour guide? We will evaluate that,” Pohl said.
Patricia Maher, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority’s (GTA) reiterated the importance of having world-class tour operators to promote the advancement of the local travel industry. “The tour guide can either make or break an experience. Today’s visitors are looking for immersive experiences. People are not even saying the word tour any more, they are saying experiences — and there are not just experiences, but immersive experiences — this is what the visitor is looking for from us in the destination, and I know we here in Grenada have a lot to offer our visitors.”
Nikoyan Roberts, Manager, Nautical Development at GTA spoke on behalf of the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen who welcomed the training. “This training provided by the Grenada Tourism Authority and Aquila could not come at a better time following historic growth in 2018, the destination cruise arrival figures for the first half of 2019 are 1.33 % ahead of last year. Indeed, we are grateful for the continued growth and we all have our role to play in ensuring it continues.”
Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence and Tour Guide Training is a tour operator company located in New Brunswick, Canada with over 35 years of experience in the travel industry, and almost 30 years of providing shore excursions to cruise lines and their passengers. They are the official training partner of the Florida Cruise Caribbean Association (FCCA).