New rules for tour guides Tanzania

Under a recently launched new set of regulations, it will become mandatory for tour guides in Tanzania to register and get licensed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.

The measure is expected to come into effect in the next financial year, to allow for time to work out the logistics and modalities for the measure, which is “to improve the quality of our guides and make them more professional.”

Requirements presently include having a certificate from a recognized training institution in tour guiding, experience as a guide, training in first aid, and a valid driving permit.

The comments on the new regulations vary. Some say the new rules will help to create specialized guides for birding, culture, history, and other fields while at the same time the regular safari drivers, who often act as guides, too, can acquire more knowledge and skills when undergoing training courses.

Others think the regulations should reach even further: “We should not just look at these minimal requirements if we really want to improve the quality of our guides. Those guides should form their own professional body to assess and grade members, setting exam standards for attaining certain levels of competence like knowledge of flora and fauna, ability to identify birds, history, culture, geography, and then grant them categories along those lines. The better-qualified one is the more money they can make with their fees.”

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