In the build up to International Tourist Guides' Day on the 21st of February 2013, the National Department of Tourism (NDT) in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism conducted inspections in Limpopo as part of their awareness campaign to encourage the general public and tourism establishments to make use of registered tour guides.
In light of recent complaints about illegal tourist guiding activities in Limpopo, the National Department of Tourism's (NDT) inspections commenced in the Thulamela region of the Kruger National Park, culminating in Phalaborwa. "The objective behind these inspections is not only to root out illegal tourist guiding, but to educate visitors and the general public about the importance of using the services of registered tourist guides to ensure their safety, and that they have a valuable experience during their stay in the country" said the National Registrar of Tourist Guides, Mr. Victor Tharage.
NDT worked with the Road Transport Management Corporation (RTMC) to form road blocks where the inspections took place. It was encouraging to note that there were no incidents of non-compliance during these inspections. It is envisioned that through these inspections, illegal guiding activities will be reduced and compliance levels will be increased.
The National Registrar of Tourist Guides at NDT established that one of the major causes of illegal guiding is the lack of awareness about the legislation pertaining to tourist guide registration. "The current legislation mandates that prospective tourist guides should obtain the relevant training and qualification with CATHSSETA-accredited training providers in order to be accredited as legal tourist guides and registered onto the national database" added Mr. Tharage.
NDT together with the provinces and law enforcement agencies will be continuing these campaigns throughout the country in order to promote compliance within the sector, amongst the general public and visitors. For more information regarding Tourist guide legislation visit the National Department of Tourism's Website.