Melani Llanos

Freelance- Tour Guide

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Developing a Touristic Culture

Tourism is a profitable industry. We all travel at some point of our lives and contribute economically to different destinations. In my homeland, Puerto Rico, visitors choose this destination mostly for the natural attractions (beach, rain forest) and our rich culture.

Through 7 years working in different jobs in the industry, I noticed that some of the people working in the field do not have a culture revolving around service and destination knowledge. By the lack of training or any effort to better the service in our destination, it's hurting our reputation and consequentially, our economy.

I propose a Tourism focused education. We want to submerge this growing generation (and the active one), in a service excellence mindset. It will create a very positive cycle: "I know my country's history and culture"--->> "I want to protect my heritage and surroundings"---->>" I want to show the world, the beauty of my country".

Tourism can and will create direct and indirect jobs to thousands of people. The effort should not only focus on marketing a country, also of educating the people on how to respect the heritage/natural/cultural sites, service excellence and sustainability.

By creating a touristic culture, we can contribute to reduce unemployment give the right tools and ideas to all types of communities to use their resources and inject the economy with foreign and local money.

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    Sep 29 2012: This is a great idea. If you can present proposals to your local tourism authority on the advantages of having tour guides that are competent and excellent as far as service delivery is concerned; I believe that the response will be encouraging.
    Since you've been interacting with tourists you would be able to know the things that they find most interesting; and hence what should be the focus of the proposed tourism education.

    However, I also think that some tour guides have a kind of warmth that makes them lovable and effective (I'm sure you are one of them) . If a guide is passionate and excited about his nation/town/city/park etc, he or she will be able to show tourists around with enthusiasm.

    South Africa has a vibrant tourism sector; a lot has been achieved by educating tour guides. As you have said there is a lot to gain from investing in this sector.
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      Sep 29 2012: Thank you very much on your input. A couple of years ago, I became member of the Puerto Rico Tour guide Society, who is one of many organizations looking that the government approves a law that establishes an education and formal training to Tour Guides through licenses imparted by the Tourism Authority. Sadly, our government does not see this as a priority and we have been waiting 12 years for this approval. We are looking for new ways to make this an important matter in our country.

      Again, Thank you for your insight and the proposals are in the making.
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        Oct 1 2012: Good evening MELANI LIanos..

        This idea is very good.Even i do feel the same.With the decline in economic progression, countries must look for as many opportunities as possible to gain stability and to be able to successfully develop.

        Tourism is not encouraged much in many countries. Future leaders has to be made in this field to take it forward as tourism contributes to the economic growth of any country to an large extent.