Saturday 4 April, 2020

 Mitchell: Tour guides to be trained after German tourist's accident

The Ministry of Tourism says it is committed to ensuring that tour guides are trained to be effective first aid responders if any emergency develops for visitors at tourist sites across the country.

Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell says emphasis is being placed on safety and security measures to allow visitors’ experience to be as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Mitchell made the comment following the incident involving German biologist Ulrike Frenking who fell into a bat cave at Tamana while hiking with friends earlier this year. Labelling the situation as “unfortunate”, the Tourism Minister noted that villagers assisted the injured man. He wished Frenking a speedy recovery and assured that since then, a lot has been done to minimize such incidents.

Meanwhile, Mitchell noted that the Ministry’s Tour Guiding Safety and Security Protocol Handbook’s guidelines state that tour guides “should have above elementary first-aid training to be able to respond to sudden medical emergencies that might occur while on tour.”

He said as such, tour operators, tour guides, tourist transport providers and others are among the primary target groups who are benefiting from the Caribbean Small Tourism Enterprises Project (STEP), which is intended to assist small tourism operators to enhance their competitiveness, profitability and sustainability. Under the programme 48 small tourism stakeholders have been provided with first aid training.

The Ministry also advises that the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts (COSTAATT) is the accredited institution for the training of tour guides and its first group of 30 trainees graduated in January with valid first aid certificates, which is in keeping with the Bureau of Standards requirement. The Ministry is asking all stakeholder groups and individuals to continue to do more to make the visitor experience here in T&T not only enjoyable but safe and special.

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