Back in July tourist arrivals saw an increase of 7.2% adding up to 1,736 more foreign visitors to the country. In August, Belize hosted 1,793 more tourists, a 10.1% increase. With the end of the Maya Calendar, this year the National Institute of Culture and History is expected to host hundreds of thousands of tourists. But there is one problem, Belize is lacking tour guides. By law a tour guide can only chaperone 12 tourists at a time. Going above that number is illegal and can lead to serious repercussions.

Tonight; however, there is some good news for those who want to venture into the tourism industry. Professional tour guide Antonio Novelo, shared with us this morning that with funding granted by the European Union, the Northern Tour Guide Association, will start training future tour guides.

Screen_shot_2012-10-18_at_8.23.31_PMAntonio Novelo, Tour Guide

“There is much need for guides and to learn for guides comes in.  We want effective tour guides in Northern Belize so we will be inviting applications later on for tour guides and that is why we are here today.”

Hipolito Novelo – Reporter

“Now when it comes to the funding, how much exactly did they give you?”

Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide

 

“In Euros it would be like BZ$25000.00 which will be good for at least 33 guys.”

Hipolito Novelo – Reporter

“And if a person is thinking to apply and being part of the program, what would be the requirements?”

Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide

“The criteria use from the rural areas like San Felipe, San Carlos, Chan Pine Ridge, low income family, high school graduate and those who shows an interest in the industry an once they show these they will qualify.”

According to Novelo, each person will receive about $1,200 to cover their training and paper work expenses.

Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide

“Well normally the BTB requires 166 hour course and what they used to do is that they only had two hours a day at night so they can only do like ten hours a week which is forty hours a month which will take them four months but remember if we could do it on one month it would be better for every one.”

Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide

“When they have complete the course the BTB will issue a license but they have to have a lot of and things that goes a long with these for example police records, photographs, CPR, the red-cross course, doctor recommendations, physically and mentally fit to hold a tour guide license and many items that goes along with this to be a license tour guide.”

Hipolito Novelo – Reporter

“As well, they will have to pass an examination right?”

Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide

“Yes, yes at the end of the course which we hope to be like a month there will be a questionnaire or a quiz and they need to pass that to successfully complete the course.”

Novelo says that applications for the program should be available by mid-November.

CTV3



Edited by Marty (10/20/12 02:04 PM)