Save Indian Economy, Save Tourism of India, Save Licensed Tourist Guides of India!

Save Indian Economy, Save Tourism of India, Save Licensed Tourist Guides of India!

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Save Economy of India, Save Tourism of India, Save Tourist Guide Licences!

Dear concerned global patrons!

1.      We, the Regional Level Tourist Guides of India are the Cultural Ambassadors of India. We have been selected, trained, and have our guiding licenses duly accredited and signed by the Department of Tourism, Government of India. Our minimum required qualification was graduation.

2.      Right now, we have more than 3200 registered Regional Level Tourist Guides from 5 regions of India comprising North, South, East, Northeast and West. The zonal segregation was to promote regional employment, expertise, and empowerment.

3.      Given the size and diversity of our country, it is very important that the professional guides are experts of local history, culture, traditions, local monuments, etc. For this we have Regional Licensed Tourist Guides, State Tourist Guides, Local Tourist Guides and Monument Tourist Guides. The total number of all category guides is approximately 12000+

4.      Now, the Central Government wants to discontinue the ‘Regional Level Tourist Guides of India’ licenses and instead, has introduced a new course and module for creating 'Tourist Facilitators'. The educational qualification required is std 10 and 10+2. By creating this new category of Tourist Facilitators, the government claims to create more jobs.

5.      The government also wants all Regional level tourist guides to undergo a ‘Tourist Facilitator’ refresher program before 31st March 2021

Regarding the above points, we, the RLGs of India have the following to say:

1.      A ‘Tourist Guide’ is a professional who represents the country and presents its history, culture, traditions and geography to visiting tourists, enhancing the image and tourism potential of the country, thereby also contributing to the economy by promoting increase of valuable foreign exchange earnings.

2.      The term ‘Tourist Guide’ is a global term for our profession approved by UNESCO’s UNWTO and we Regional Level Tourist Guides proudly uphold our identity worldwide as Tourist Guides.

3.      A ‘Tourist Facilitator’ is a term accepted globally for a person who facilitates a tourist’s entry and stay in the visiting country. He/She goes for arrivals, departures, does check-ins and checkouts at hotels and takes care of documentations, passport & bookings of tickets, meals, shows, etc.

4.      Tourism is already at a standstill and it will take a couple of years for it to bounce back. The existing 12000+ guides of all different categories have no work. In that case, even the newly trained Facilitators would not have any work, and this will lead them to frustration and stress which could be very harmful. Even the money spent on their training would be wasted. Am sure you or anyone else would not want this to happen!

5.      Demoting our status from professional ‘Tourist Guides’ to ‘Tourist Facilitators’ would be very demoralizing for us guides. Besides, this would also adversely affect the tourism industry and the economy of India due to reduced foreign exchange earnings

6.      We do appreciate your efforts to create more jobs. This could also be done without changing the nomenclature of our profession as ‘Tourist Guide’ and the necessary assessment of requirements as per number of tourist arrivals.

7.      The slogan of the Indian tourism Industry is ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – Guest is God. India is a very complex destination, beyond all descriptions and imagination of a foreign tourists. They await and look forward to being provided services of the well-qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced Tourist Guide to decipher the complexities and to enable them to realize and enjoy their dream tour in India. Providing services of under qualified and lower cadre candidates goes against our slogan ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and is also very disappointing and unfair towards them.

8.      The news about Facilitators issue is already creating a very negative impression about the Indian tourism Industry around the world which could be very damaging for India in the already difficult situation due to the Covid19 pandemic.

Some links about the facilitator issue:

Germany: https://twitter.com/Savetourism1/status/1277642834355445761?s=20

Spain: https://twitter.com/Savetourism1/status/1277563329016287232?s=20

And many more.

9.      We seek your support for our cause to appeal to the present government as well as the judiciary is to look at this most controversial imposition and repeal the policy of arbitrariness and shortsightedness.

The questions we ask from the government:

1.      Why on earth, should any government dilute the identity of such an important profession and change our professional title from ‘Tourist Guide’ to ‘Tourist Facilitator’?

2.      Why should the higher cadre RLGs who were selected under stringent and strict qualification requirements and were trained by the Govt and their selected agencies, be compelled to merge with a lower cadre Facilitators? This is totally unconstitutional.

3.      Why does the government want to isolate the Tourism Industry of India from the global Tourism Industry by terminating the licenses and identity of ‘Tourist Guides’?

4.      Why will travelers look for or hire a ‘Facilitator’ when they want a ‘Tourist Guide’ to show them the city/country?

5.      How would the government compensate us ‘Tourist Guides’ for our loss due to adverse effects of losing our status as such professionals?

6.      Why should we give up our UNESCO’s UNWTO approved and globally recognized identity as ‘Tourist Guides’ of India and accept to be demoted as an unknown identity as ‘Tourist Facilitators’.

7.      The slogan of our tourism industry is ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’- Guest is God. Shouldn’t we offer them services of expert, experienced & professional ‘Tourist Guides’ and not inexperienced and unsuitable Facilitators?

8.      With more than a total of 12000/- Tourist Guides of different guides already existing and with no work for them for an indefinite period, how will the government assure jobs for all?

9.      The government speaks about ‘Atmanirbharta’, then why not create more jobs in some other sectors, eg. the manufacturing or IT sector or some other field where there would be scope of more work, instead of in the tourism industry, which is at a standstill, with uncertainty of when it will open up? 

10.   With the current situation of Covid 19, as and when, there are any tourists, can the government afford to risk their safety and security by sending them with inexperienced Facilitators instead of professional Tourist Guides’?

                                             Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!