In 2016, we teamed-up with the Dutch Travel Association, ANVR, to support their members to improve the impact and quality of tours. The resulting online training course, called ‘Leading the Way’, has been completed by over 500 tour guides and managers across 17 countries, from the Netherlands to Nepal.
In the long-term, responsible tours ensure a healthier future for the business by protecting the very assets on which tours depend: beautiful natural environments and good relationships with local people.
We developed an online course to enables guides from around the world to gain an understanding of sustainable tourism and how to integrate it into their day-to-day role. The training includes tips and examples from expert guides, followed by multiple choice questions and answers. Guides also receive a checklist and action plan for continued professional development, to ensure ongoing improvement of their product.
The principles of responsible guiding
Following responsible guiding practices
Communicating with customers
Of the first 22 guides to take the course, 20 have already taken further steps to increase their own knowledge on environmental protection, socio-cultural issues, arts, crafts and history. Some of the changes that guides have told us they have made include:
Developing a new programme of do’s and don’ts.
Speaking openly about culturally sensitive issues.
Giving customers information on the local way of life.
Getting in touch with local people directly.
Telling customers about souvenirs that are made locally.
Reducing the use of plastic bags and bottles and encouraging clients to do the same.
Reducing water use and disposing of rubbish properly.