A union of tourist guides in Davao City has organized a training program for its members to improve tourist services and attract more visitors to the area.
Gene Rose Tecson, president of Guide Union for Inbound Destination and Ecotourism (GUIDE) said providing tour guides with world-class training would make the city one of the region’s most desirable cities for tourists.
“Davao is considered one of safest cities globally. It offers tourists some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, best seafood, and amazing eco-tourism attractions,” Tecson said.
The training program used the tourism skills grant from the Department of Tourism (DOT). It was funded by Canada and administered by Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism (PICTourism) program.
PICTourism was designed to support the government’s effort to achieve inclusive growth and create employment opportunities in tourism.
“More than providing financial assistance to support professional skills training, the grant will usher in jobs and opportunities for growth for young Davaoeños,” Tecson said.
“Using what we learned from the training, we seek to expand training and mentoring to junior tour guides in various cities and municipalities in the Davao region and help develop a new breed of tourism industry workers,” he said.
Tecson said members of the group are licensed and accredited by the DOT and they seek to benefit from more relevant training courses to achieve world-class status.
With the help of the skills grant, they conducted workshops on personality development, quality in communications, security awareness; train the trainers, and professional tour guiding, Tecson said.
The group enlisted the services of Davao-based Joji Ilagan Career Center Foundation, Inc. to handle personality development, quality in communications, and train the trainers.
To improve their skills on tour guiding techniques, the group was trained by U.S.-based multilingual tour manager and tourist guide trainer Maricar Donato.
As a result of the trainings, GUIDE Davao generated more awareness about their group and its membership increased by almost 50 percent. With the help of DOT-ADB-Canada grant, GUIDE Davao hopes to improve its services and training programs to align with the standards of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism.
GUIDE Davao hopes to become a key driving force in making their province known more globally. Davao is known for its Durian fruit, the Waling Orchid, Mount Apo and the Philippine Eagle.