WFTGA Executive Board 2019-2021

We are proud to announce the 2019-2021 Executive Board for WFTGA:
President - Alushca Ritichie (South Africa)
Vice President : Mary Kemp Clarke (UK)
Secretary: Arash Nooraghayee (Iran)
Head of Training: Viola Lewis (Scotland UK)                                     
EXBO Member: Romano del Rosario (Philippines),
EXBO Member: Gene Reyes (USA)

Posted: 02/12/19

WFTGA Begins Hands on Tourist Guide Training (HOT) in Bahrein

WFTGA Lead International Trainer Mary Kemp Clarke and WFTGA International Trainer Roger Rajah are part of our team in Bahrein to present Hands on Tourist Guide Training (HOT) courses to a series of exhuberant Bahrein participants.
The current course coincided with Bahrein's Tourist Guide Day observance. Second photo incudes President of Dilmun Friends President Mieza Al Nasheet, with Mary on the right and Roger on the left.


Posted: 10/19/18

18th WFTGA Convention Tbilisi Georgia 21-27 January 2019:

The WFTGA Convention in Tbilisi Georgia from 21 - 27 January 2019, hosted by the Georgian Association of Guides: 
Convention Newsletter February 2019
Information about Georgia


Posted: 02/27/18

International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 garners support from the sector


The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that contributes to the SDGs.

The Ministry of Tourism of Mexico, the German National Tourism Board, All Nippon Airways, the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Macao, China, the Balearic Islands Tourism Agency, Minube, Amadeus, the European Geoparks Network, The Travel Corporation and DDB are among the first sponsors to join UNWTO to support the programme of activities of the Year. The City of Zurich, the University of Crete, CABI and Green Key have also joined as “Friends” of the Year.

“The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, to be launched in January in Madrid, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the general public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

The year will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:

  1. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
  2. Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
  3. Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
  4. Cultural values, diversity and heritage
  5. Mutual understanding, peace and security.

A full programme of activities will be unveiled on 18 January on the occasion of the Opening of the International Year.


More information:

International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Join the Celebrations

Sponsorship opportunities



UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino
Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 /
UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme
Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 /


Posted: 02/27/18

WFTGA attends the 1st International Western Silk Road Workshop in Greece

WFTGA was represented by Ivana Curuvija at the 1st International Western Silk Road Workshop in Alexandroupoli Greece on 26-27 April 2017. The workshop was jointly organised by UNWTO, the Ministry of Tourism of Greece and the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace of Greece.  Ivana presented a workshop entitled " Transmitting the Western Silk Road Heritage".  WFTGA is a member of the UNWTO Silk Road Task Force and has delivered training to Silk Road Heritage Guides.  WFTGA is an Affiliate Member of UNWTO. 
For the full programme see below:

Posted: 04/28/17

Advertising Standards Agency Announces Curbs on UK "Free Tour" Advertising

For immediate release - For Dissemination to media
Landmark fraud protection ruling comes in time for peak travel season
ASA announces curbs on the UK "free tours" advertising

Paris, France - April 6th, 2017 - The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week announced measures designed to curb unscrupulous tour operators and unqualified "guides" who offer fraudulently advertised "free tours" to unsuspecting tourists.
In many major cities, untrained, unpaid, untaxed and uninsured persons conduct "free" walking tours to unsuspecting visitors. "Free tours" are offered by companies or private persons with various names across the world. Consumers wrongly assume that the persons guiding them will be qualified to do so and that they are paid by the tour organisers, which is almost never true.
The ASA received many complaints by visitors-consumers about so-called "free tours" during which the persons guiding them demanded tips at the end of the tours, despite the tours being advertised as free. According to ASA, complainants felt overly pressurised to make such payments.
Last week these businesses and amateurs offering "free tours" in the UK were told to end this practice and adhere to new, stricter guidance laid out by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). ASA says the advertising must prominently state that the guide will request discretionary payments, if this is the case. They must also make clear that discretionary payments are entirely voluntary, and that money from tips is not kept in full by the person guiding, if this is the case.
"This ASA ruling will raise the quality of the visitor experience, which in turn will enhance the reputation of the tourism industry of the country, said Efi Kalampoukidou, European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) President."We all hope that more countries' authorities will follow the UK example and act immediately to protect the consumers, the destinations and the tourism professionals."
Since 2009, the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) and their 200,000+ members have been warning the EU Commission, national authorities and MEPs that the "free tours" practice is misleading and bad for the image of any destination. The practice can compromise the health and safety of the consumer, as well as expectations of accurate information.
The persons conducting the tours are paid in tips only, which means low payment with no guaranteed income or employment. No professional qualification for conducting the tours is required. These are only short term engagements and could be seen as a way of exploiting young people who often report that this is a type of "slavery market" developed outside the professional labour market rules.
Many tour organisers demand their "guides" pay them a commission of 3 - 5 EURO per participant, so it’s no surprise that the person guiding presses tourists to give tips. This amount is comparative to what a visitor-consumer would pay to attend any legally organised and advertised guided group tour conducted by a professionally qualified tourist guide.
The European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations stress that several legal issues are raised and must be confronted by relevant authorities on international, European and national levels. They urge consumers, advertising-practice committees and members of government to act against this ever-growing "black labour" market.


Posted: 04/06/17

Count Down Begins to the Most Significant World Tourism Event in Iran

The "2017 WFTGA Convention", Presenting Iranian Humanity and Hospitality… 

The Convention Confirmed Seminar, The Deep-rooted Alliance Showcase 

The wrap-up meeting held on the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Org. auditorium, on 26 Dec 2016, to finalize the process and report the developments.   

Less than one month, Iran will proudly host 400 tourist guides from 45 countries. The Convention acts as an occasion to introduce Iran worldwide and IFTGA ambassadors will well done it.   

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, deputy head of the Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Org. fully cares the Convention, said in his speech: "Great workout is coming, hence our responsibility to protect it is on the rise day after day. Definitely the participants will talk years about Iran's attractions and Iranian etiquette and hospitality". "Tourist guides play an important role in the tourism industry and the Convention is the fruit of their mission. To touch the goals, governmental establishments support the convention", he added. 

"Wholeheartedly, all sections should have a hand in this national event, avoid opposition or hostility and warmly work to get the result", Rahmani Movahed emphasized. 

The 2017 Convention executive secretary, Mohsen HajiSaeed said in the 26th Dec seminar: "70 percent of the specialists assured that Iran selected in a most befitting manner. Fighting against Iranophobia and encourage people to travel Iran are the main purposes of us in this Int'l event".    

He also explained the goings-over through the Convention and added: "Thanks to the attempts of Iran's tourism Org., Mr. Taleb D. Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General, will attend in the day of opening. All details are checked but still we need to get help from the airlines and linked agencies". 

Pre-tour, convention and post-tour's planning were also clarified with the presence of Director Generals of Tehran, Zanjan, Hamedan, Yazd, Fars and Isfahan Tourism organizations. The mentioned provinces are involved in the planning which will be held on Jan 25th – Feb 6th.

"High quality facilities, standard services and competitive capacities would be the achievement of the Convention", stated Ali Baqer Ne'mati, director of the Promotion and Marketing Office at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. 

Registration for the event has started and over 300 foreigner and 111 domestic guides are in the list totally. Almost 250 Iranian Visa Codes are issued till now, 203 are accepted and others are on the process. With no trouble the invitees will get the airport visa.  

The event will absolutely lead to show the exact peaceful face of Iran to the world. Collaboration between the organizers controls every details. Full security and safety provide to the Convention guests from the start point to the last step, alongside with best sightseeing tours and conferences awaits them. 

Additionally, the 2017 WFTGA Convention' poster was unveiled during the conference. 

In the last part, executive members and the Head, Arash NoorAghaee, negotiated about the rest of the route. 


By: Mina Mehdinia 


Posted: 01/01/17

Train the Trainer and International Trainer Courses in Nicosia, Cyprus

The International WFTGA Training Centre in Nicosia, Cyprus offered both these last weeks, Train the Trainer and International Trainer Course; altogether 18 participants from 10 countries joined. WFTGA Training Committee is happy to see the successful distribution of high professional standards around the world.


by Maria Aristidou

Posted: 11/30/16
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