MTDC to train locals as guides

Feb 27, 2014, 09:20 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

To enhance the experience of tourists visiting the state, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is planning to train young natives through tourism institutions in the state

With Maharashtra becoming a hot tourist spot, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is working on a strategy to increase the number of tourist guides in the state. They plan to train young locals through tourism institutions in the state.

Trip advisors: MTDC believes that this initiative will be useful in improving the safety and security of tourists in the state

MTDC has set up a three-week’s training programme for the faculties of various tourism institutions who will later design a course module for the aspiring guides. So far 11 organisations across Pune division — Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur- have shown interest in training the young locals, who mainly hail from the rural parts of Maharashtra.

“We have observed that guides who operate without a license lack essential knowledge of the tourist spots. It has been noticed that they provide incorrect information to the tourists, which is unacceptable,” said MTDC Pune division chief Naina Bondarde.

MTDC has decided to incorporate not only training to the aspiring guides but also teach them how to behave courteously with the tourists.

Bondarde informed that the course would be certified by the MTDC and the trained guides would be given a license to start their own businesses as tourist guides from Gwalior-based Indian Institute of Tourism and Management.

“The trained guides would work as freelancers and to encourage them, we would help them by publishing their contact details to our website so that tourists can avail better guide facility and tourist guides would also get the employment through this effort,” said Bondarde.

MTDC believes that this initiative will be useful in improving the safety and security of tourists in the state.

Meanwhile, MTDC will be organising a strawberry festival in the city from March 1 onwards. The purpose behind this festival is to make people aware that Maharashtra is contributing to 80 per cent of country’s total strawberry production.

“Another motive behind arranging this festival is to create an association between the state and the production of strawberries, which will attract tourists across the country to Maharashtra,” said Bondarde.

>> The guides will provide facts and historical information on the locations
>> Programme will help boost the state’s tourism and help local youth with a new career

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