Professionalising Tourism: Tour Guides To Sit Annual Compulsory Exams


In short
Sempebwa emphasizes the importance of the examinations saying tour guides offer the best experience to tourists.

All tour guides across the country are to start sitting compulsory annual examinations beginning this year before they are licensed to operate, URN has learnt.
Registration for the first candidates is already on going. At least more than 150 tour guides have already registered. The examinations are scheduled to start on 15th to 19th December 2014. John Sempebwa, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer Uganda Tourism Board says this is the only way they can assess the competence of tour guides.
He says the examinations will be based on selected thematic areas, due to lack of a standard curriculum. The thematic areas include cultural, wildlife, birding, reptiles, mountaineering, fishing, butterfly, amphibian and tourist driving.
Sempebwa emphasizes the importance of the examinations saying tour guides offer the best experience to tourists. He says it is not enough for the tour guides to only mention the names of the various attractions, but they must be able to explain what they mean. 

Sempebwa says the tourism board has partnered with the private sector to set and mark the examinations.
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Sempebwa says if a guide fails the first round of examinations, he or she will be given another chance. He says within three months, the person will be re-examined and if he or she passes, she will be given a license but those who fail will not be licensed.

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Sempebwa says it is illegal and criminal to operate as a tour guide without a license.
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Herbert Byaruhanga, the Chairperson of Uganda Tourism Association couldn't be reached to explain how they will sustain the examinations as he is reportedly out of office. However, a source who is familiar with the registration of the tour guides says each guide will pay UGX 200, 000 but this couldn't be independently verified by URN.
Ugandan tour guides have been hailed as the best in the whole of East Africa. Officials from Uganda Tourism Board and the private sector say they want to ensure that the quality is not compromised by employing people who cannot make tourists enjoy their stay in the country. 


Tagged with: tourism