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Indian government introduces new tourist guide courses to meet emerging needs of tourism industry
KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on March 12, informed the House that "Ministry of Tourism has introduced Tour Guide and Heritage Tour Guide courses for training and certification for the guides. The duration of these two courses are 420 hours and 330 hours, respectively and are open to youth in the age group of 18 to 28 years who are minimum 10th pass," reported a press release.

With the increase in the influx of tourists and diversification of the tourism industry, the demand for well informed, certified and multi-lingual tourists has increased. A tour guide is a person who provides valid information on cultural, historical and contemporary heritage to people on organized tours to the venues of significant interest.

A tourist guide is required to take around visitors and provide authentic information in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area.

At times a guide is has to have an area-specific qualification to manage and supervise the itinerary on behalf of the tour operator along with literature to the tourist providing requisite information.

In Jaipur, there is a Tourist Guides Association that has the certified members to provide the tourist guide services for sightseeing and many members work as interpreters to make interaction with the tourists and service providers meaningful.

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