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Conception / Background

What are intercultural training seminars for tour guides?

Intercultural training seminars...

... are seminars for tour guides in developing countries, newly industrializing countries and transition countries who are in charge of German- or English-speaking tourists.

... are held in cooperation with tour operators, tourist agencies, tourist boards, tourism ministries and tour guide associations which aim to strengthen the expertise and qualifications of their tour guides as cultural mediators.

... creatively and systematically teach practical knowledge and communication skills

... are offered for the levels Basic, Advanced and Proficiency and provide the opportunity to receive certificates for every level

... are implemented by the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development) and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

... have been tried and tested over several years: By the end of 2015, 124 seminars in German language and 4 in English had been held. Since certification begann in 1992, the certificate "Intercultural Teacher" has been obtained by 558 German speaking and 23 English speaking tour guides.

Why intercultural training seminars for tour guides?

International tourism is not only a transnational economic factor, it also offers the chance of cultural interactions. If the economic and the social aspect turn out beneficial for those concerned depends on numerous aspects.

In the year 2012 47 percent of the 1,04 billion foreign tourist arrivals take place in so-called developing and newly industrializing countries - about 10 percent in transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

According to studies of the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung, 8.4 million German tourists, for instance, travelled to developing and newly industrializing countries in 2012. 5.8 million visited Islamic countries in the Mediterranean (including Turkey), 2.6 million travelled to long-distance destinations in Asian, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Vacation trips to these countries mean contact with another culture whose rules are often unknown - another religion, other ideas concerning development. Such contact is chance and challenge at the same time.

Merely half of the tourists who have visited developing countries believe that such trips foster understanding for these countries and their people. Many tourists are worried about crises and conflicts in vacation destinations.

What a tourist perceives, experiences, and learns depends significantly on the quality of the tour guiding.

German tourists, experienced in developing countries, have high expectations of their tour guides: 86 percent expect objective information about the country they are visiting, 76 percent want an insightful introduction to the daily life of the population, 66 percent expect tour guides to possess expert factual knowledge.