Guides from the Kyrgyz Republic received certification from the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA), an organization that unites over 200,000 tour guides from 70 countries. Thirty-one tour guides received certificates after completing a series of training courses organized by the Association, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). WFTGA certification will help local tour guides to provide international-level service and improve tourism experiences in Kyrgyzstan — and thus making Kyrgyzstan a more desirable destination for international tourists.
During the training, tour guides learned techniques for planning and conducting guided tours, as well as ways to better research, document, and relay facts about cultural and historical sites. They also had a chance to improve their presentation, interpretation, and group management skills through real-life guided tours in and around Bishkek.
Eighteen of the participants also received trainer status as a result of taking additional specialized training, which enables them to conduct courses similar to those offered by WFTGA.
Tour guides play an essential role in the tourism sector as Kyrgyzstan’s ambassadors to tourists. Earlier this year, USAID’s Business Growth Initiative (BGI) project organized the largest-yet training for trekking guides from all over the country.
This certification is a part of USAID’s broader effort to promote Kyrgyzstan as a tourism destination in the international market. USAID’s BGI project has facilitated Kyrgyzstan’s participation in major international tourism fairs, invited numerous travel bloggers and media, and trained local businesses to meet international standards. The goal of the project is to strengthen key economic sectors in the Kyrgyz Republic, including tourism, agriculture, and apparel.