World Tourism Day, September 27th: UK to hold first ever National Tour Guide conference, Friday November 9th
Presentation, Discover England Fund.
The UK Government, to promote tourism, has created the Discover England Fund to provide funds to various local tourism initiatives. One effort is the country's first National Tour Guiding Conference. From the press release:
Amanda Lumley, Executive Director for Destination Plymouth and US Connections Project Director, said: “Research demonstrates that there is a significant demand from US visitors to have a guided tour while in the UK, allowing them to meet local people and bring stories to life through immersing themselves in the heritage and history of England.”From the standpoint of technical assistance and support programming, more "convention and visitors bureaus" need to be doing this.
The event will provide tour guides with tips for making their tours ‘bookable’ and accessible to international audiences, and offer networking opportunities for all types of tour guide – from Blue, Green and White Badge guides, to ancestral guides, driver guides, volunteers and local greeter schemes, costumed and character-led guides.
There will be speakers from organisations including Wanderlust, Unique Devon Tours, Kuoni Global Travel Services, XV Insights, Robin Hood @EzekialBone, Visit Cambridge and Beyond and VisitBritain.
Emma Thornton, Chief Executive for Visit Cambridge and Beyond – the lead partner supporting the delivery of this event – said: “Visit Cambridge delivers guided walking tours for around 80,000 visitors each year and tours form a very significant part of our business.
Years ago, I came across the Detroit Orientation Institute at Wayne State University, which is a form of this, but not limited to "tour guides."
Given Baltimore's decline in visitation experienced after the fallout over the death of Freddie Gray, riots, etc. ("Visit Baltimore to 'actively pursue' five counties to woo locals back to city," Baltimore Business Journal), they need a similar program, to work in conjunction with the Live Baltimore resident recruitment program.
The Baltimore Business Journal is running a series of articles in response, titled "Stop apologizing, Baltimore."