Muscat, August 12, 2020: The TourGuide programme at Oman Tourism College (OTC) received accreditation from the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA). This makes OTC the first accredited educational institution to offer a specialised Tour Guide programme at the local and regional levels.
Commenting on this achievement, Bader Said Al Dhuhli, Tour Guide Programme Coordinator and Tourism Studies Lecturer said, “We are proud that our programme obtained this accreditation from a reputable tourism organisation. It is a recognition of the efficiency and quality of the programmes offered by OTC and the level of excellence it has reached. The Tour Guide programme has been developed according to approved international standards, therefore any interested individual from any nationality can join the programme. It is designed to develop and enrich the knowledge of the students theoretically and to refine their skills through practical experience. The programme is for a period of nine months with extensive studying materials of up to 1,000 hours. Upon completion, graduates will receive an accredited professional Tour Guiding certificate.”
The theory part of the programme includes several subjects that cover foreign languages, namely German, French and Italian, as well as others focused on leadership, management of tourist programmes and groups, and presentation skills. In addition to courses in history, environment, culture, geography and tourism sciences, it also comprises of courses in psychology, such as tourist behaviour, advanced methods of dealing with situations and problem-solving.
To enrich their practical experience, the course also comprises of extensive field visits of up to 400 hours allowing students to engage in various tourism activities and be part of real-life tourism programmes. Additionally, it includes training programmes in first aid, adventures, camping and marine tourism.
All of OTC’s academic programmes are accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and quality assured by the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin), while the professional courses are offered in collaboration with Lobster Ink, AHLEI, Travelport and Highfield. OTC also provides consultation services in menu preparation for restaurants, cafes, and small and medium enterprises.
The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) is a not for profit organisation which groups together, around the world, tourist guide associations, individual tourist guides, tourism partners of the WFTGA, educational institutes in tourism for tourist guides. The WFTGA’s main purpose is to promote, market and ensure that tourist guides are recognised as the ambassadors of a region, as they are the first and sometimes the only representation of the population a visitor will meet.