Successful graduates of programme will receive official license

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Stenden University Qatar (SUQ) have announced a new partnership through which tour guides working in Qatar will have access to specialised training programmes that will hone their skills and make them eligible for an official tour guide license, brought into effect by QTA.

The initiative is part of several that have been introduced by QTA to raise the standard of tourism service providers as Qatar welcomes a growing number of tourists.

Ten fast-track courses led by expert SUQ instructors will be offered between February and October. The courses will take place for eight hours a day over a period of 10 days and is open to practicing tour guides and desert safari guides, as well as eligible residents interested in taking up this activity.

By completing the course and passing the related assessments, tour guides will have met the code of standards associated with the new QTA-issued licenses for tour guides, which was developed based on international best practices and in consultation with the UN World Tourism Organisation.

Saif Al Kuwari, PR & Communication Director at QTA, said:

As tour guides play a crucial role in shaping tourists’ experiences of a destination, it was a natural next step for us to develop a new code of standards for those operating in this field. We recognize the importance of providing the training and academic support needed for tour guides to achieve these standards, and are grateful to our partners at Stenden University Qatar for providing the expertise to support this initiative.’

Al Kuwari added that QTA will subsidise the cost of training for Qatari tour guides, as part of its commitment to attract and develop more home grown talent to the sector.

Dr Ivan Ninov, Executive Dean at Stenden University Qatar, added:

Stenden University Qatar is the sole provider of university-level tourism and hospitality management education in the State of Qatar.’

QTA and SUQ officials also confirmed that two lengthier and more in-depth programmes are under development, and will be made available to less experienced tour guides or those who are new to the field.

Other governmental entities and organisations are also contributing to the course content, to ensure that tour guides deliver fruitful information about Qatar’s history, culture and ecosystem.