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Sowing seeds

Spring! Such a nice season to sow seeds! And that’s exactly what The Travel Foundation did a couple of weeks ago at The Cape Verde Hospitality School (EHTCV).

I was privileged to be invited to talk with the student guides who will soon be starting their internship to put into practice all the cutting-edge guiding techniques they’ve been learning.

I shared the findings of the Excursion Impact Study which was commissioned by the Travel Foundation in partnership with TUI Care Foundation. The study revealed that just under half of all tourists who visit the two main island-destinations (Sal and Boa Vista) took a guided excursion. This highlights just how important tour guides are in shaping visitors’ perceptions and experiences of Cabo Verde. As a matter of fact, the way guided tours are managed and delivered can make a significant difference to the impact of tourism on the local environment, economy and communities.

Guided by the findings of our research, we are now implementing a series of activities to support guides and excursion companies to deliver quality experiences for visitors which have positive benefits to destinations. This includes creating a Responsible Excursions’ Code of Conduct and Responsible Guiding Training.

Cabo Verde’s aspiring tour guides talked with me about the key economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of Cabo Verde’s current excursions and came up with ideas for behaviour and procedures they can adopt to enhance the positive and mitigate the negative impacts. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be with the next generation of guides and to sow some seeds of responsible guiding.

I hope they germinate nicely and we soon reap responsible citizens, great guides, and extraordinary Hospitality Ambassadors!