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Leading the way to sustainable excursions

A new online training course, called ‘Leading the way’, is enabling tour guides to improve the impact of their excursions on local communities and the environment.  The training, developed by the Travel Foundation in partnership with the Dutch Travel Association, ANVR, has been completed by over 500 guides and managers across 17 countries to date.

The ‘Leading the Way’ course has been designed to support ANVR member companies to drive-up sustainability standards throughout their supply chain.  It enables guides, who represent these tour operators on excursions, to improve their tours so that local people, the environment and their customers benefit.

Gerben Hardeman, Manager Responsible Travel & Tourism at ANVR said: “In the end, it is all about creating better places and experiences for locals and holidaymakers. Tour guides and leaders can use the inspiring knowledge in this training straightaway and put it into practice.”

At least 95% of guides who have completed the course have said that they intend to build better relationships with communities, increase the positive contribution of tours to the local economy and minimize environmental impact.

Ali de Boer, tour leader with the Indonesian Tourist Guide Association, who completed the training, has already improved communication with local communities and is now using services provided by local people to spread the economic benefits of tours. Ali also gives tourists information about the local way of life which helps the client to “feel, see, hear, taste and speak the Indonesian or local life.”  Ali said, “Customers enjoy the tour more and have more respect and understanding about local life and wisdom. The best thing about the training is that it is helping me go from being a ‘Tour Leader’ to ‘a great Tour Leader’”.

“This training is all about protecting the very assets on which tours depend: beautiful natural environments and good relationships with local people.” Said Julie Middleton Head of Sustainable Practice at the Travel Foundation. “Enabling communities to get a fairer deal from tourism and protecting the environment also improves the quality of tours so that customers, guides and tour operators benefit too.   Healthier relationships with local communities mean a healthier future for the business in the long term.”

The Travel Foundation’s free online training courses can be accessed at www.travelfoundationtraining.com  For more information about bespoke training courses, please contact the Travel Foundation at partnerships@thetravelfoundation.org.uk.

ANVR members have direct access to the online training  ‘Leading the Way’ (by using their ANVR- member login).

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