Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) held a graduation ceremony today to felicitate 15 trainees who successfully completed the ‘Tour Guide License Program’.
His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of QTA, handed out the certificates at the Doha Exhibition Center in the presence of senior executives including Robert Coelen, the Executive Dean at Stenden University Qatar, and Omar Al Jaber, the Human Resources Manager at QTA.
21 trainees joined the training program in December 2013, of whom 15 successfully completed the 16-week training program held at Stenden University, Qatar. The 15 candidates will immediately start their careers in the tourism and promotions with QTA.
QTAs chairman His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi gave a brief speech to welcome the trainees as new members of QTA and reiterated the importance of human capital investment. He further emphasized QTA’s policy of being a meritocratic and performance-based organization and the importance of the training program in equipping trainees with the skills needed to advance in their careers as tour guides. He went on to thank the human resources team for their work to support and advance the Qatari workforce.
“We are very proud of our first-ever graduating tour guides. Tour guides are a key touch point on the frontline of tourists’ experience of Qatar. With Qatar’s growing tourism industry, it is crucial that we show tourists the beautiful reality of this country,” said Al Mohannadi, “This is a great milestone for QTA and the Human Resources department, and it underscores our commitment to ensuring that we have the best qualified employees,” he added.
Tour guides have an important and multifaceted role in contemporary tourism. Tourist guides are instrumental in helping travelers understand the culture of the country and the way of life of its people. Their conduct and performance can be a major source of influence on whether tourists stay longer or visit Qatar more often.
The Tour Guide License Program aims to provide comprehensive training to aspiring tour guides in the following areas: the history of Qatar, knowledge of local tourist attractions, general tourism information, tour-guide essentials and the development of interpersonal skills and competencies in delivering information in engaging ways. The program is the product of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between QTA and Stenden University Qatar last year to develop a special curriculum for training professional tour guides in Qatar.
“Partnerships have to be formed. The government sector, private enterprises and civil society must work hand-in-hand to ensure the success of our National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. We need to continue developing the human capital necessary for a sustainable tourism sector by encouraging participation from the Qatari youth,” said Al Mohannadi.
The 16-week long Tour Guide course was conducted beginning December last year at Stenden University Qatar. It was open to Qatari and Qatar-born high school graduates familiar with the country’s history and culture and with fluency communicating in English as well as Arabic.
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