‘Tour guides crucial to tourism’

National 1 minute, 56 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

LICENSED and trained tour guides can help attract more foreign tourists and encourage more locals to explore the country, said an education official at Laksamana College of Business.

In a recent interview with _The Brunei Times _on the sidelines of LCB’s graduation ceremony, Simon Keenan, head of business and hospitality at the college, said the tour guide training course provided by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) in collaboration with LCB can help elevate tourism in Brunei.

Keenan said having licensed tour guides who are trained to guide visitors has the capacity to transform a tour into a memorable experience.

“Tour guides are the frontline players in the tourism industry. They have a key role in making tourism more sustainable,” he said.

“With tour guides that are skilled and knowledgeable, even locals would want to explore their own country.”

Keenan said many people have enquired about the course since LCB announced their collaboration with MPRT earlier this year.

“We’ve received an overwhelming response, including from existing individual operators,” he said, noting that around 160 people had already enrolled and are currently taking the course.

Keenan said by conducting such courses, Brunei can produce high-quality and world-class tour guides.

“What we want is to develop a standard. With good service, tourists are more likely to return for the second time, and this will naturally boost the (tourism) industry as well,” he said.

He noted that tour guides operating in the country must not only be equipped with the proper knowledge and basic training that is required but should also have excellent communication skills.

“If you encounter a tour guide that isn’t very knowledgeable or has poor communication skills, it can really negatively affect the quality of your experience and also your ultimate decision to recommend the guide or destination to other tourists,” he said.

He said tour guides should be passionate about the places they are guiding people through and should have the ability to communicate in ways that capture the interests of their clients.

Keenan said LCB and MPRT will also be holding a training course next month for those interested in becoming a tour guide.

He said he hoped to see more Bruneians take up the course through Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) scholarships.

The Brunei Times