GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
Department of Tourism
Block- ‘A’, 3rd Floor, N. S. Building, 1, K.S. Roy Road, Kolkata – 700001
No. 1729-TM/1T-18/2021 Date: 16.11.2021
West Bengal Tourist Guide Certification Scheme
The Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal, continuously endeavors to work towards strengthening the Tourism Sector with focus on strengthening the capacity of all stakeholders with whom the visitor is likely to interact during their stay in the State. The Tourist Guides play a significant role in promoting the destinations and products of the State and providing an enriching experience.
The competence of the person directly interacting with the visitor would have a major role to play. This role would invariably be played by the Tourist Guides who would be directly interacting with the visitor. Direct interaction with the tourists makes them even more responsible for projecting the state in a correct manner by furnishing factually correct information about the destination, ensuring the safety of the tourists as well as providing a pleasant and satisfying experience for them during their visits.
The experience that such a Tourist Guides provide to the visitor would be dependent on the knowledge, etiquette, communication and presentation skills that they possess. A robust policy for this particular segment with emphasis on continuous skill development which can keep pace with the ever changing & evolving demand & needs of the Tourism Industry is required.
The Government of West Bengal, Department of Tourism, hereby, notifies the West Bengal Tourist Guide Certification Scheme for the selection, training and Certification of the West Bengal Tourist Guides. This Scheme would become operational from the date of notification.
2. Sphere of work of Tourist Guides
2.1 Tourist Guides are essentially interpreters of a place/event/experience. A Tourist Guides job is both delightful and challenging. A Tourist Guide is tasked with making tourist spots appealing, explaining intricate stories of history, mythology, culture, nature, cuisine, art, etc., eliciting interest and awe in the visitor about the State. They have to uphold the cultural traditions and heritage, of the place being visited and also talk of social customs, heritage, myths and even local folklores.
2.2 A Tourist Guide must have:
- Knowledge about Destination/Product
- Interpretation Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Execution Skills
To expand the scope of their work, they must acquire necessary experience of working as interpreters, hone their communication skills and gradually acquire domain knowledge about various tourist destinations.
3. Categories of Tourist Guides
There shall be two categories of Tourist Guides:
i) New Tourist Guide: These will be the fresh intending applicants fulfilling the prescribed eligibility criteria as laid down in para 5 a) who will be registered & initially given the Basic training on various aspects of tourism and orientation about essential communication and presentation skills, duration of which will be 04 weeks (192 hours).
ii) Veteran (Existing) Tourist Guide: These are the Existing Tourist Guides who have been working in the profession as a Guide for at least three years in various tourism places. They will be given an opportunity of getting recognized provided they fulfill the eligibility criteria mentioned in para 5 b). They will be provided reskilling in the course for ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’, duration of which will be 02 weeks (96 hours).
4. Brief Outlay of the Courses
4.1 West Bengal Tourist Guide (Basic): This would be Basic course for the Tourist Guides, focusing on destination knowledge with clear idea about Product, Services and Experiences that Bengal Offers to the tourists. Development of Interpretation, Presentation & Execution skills. Duration of which will be 04 weeks (192 hours).
4.2 West Bengal Tourist Guide (Advance): This would be specialized course for the tourist guides in different genres of tourism like Cultural Tourism/circuits, Heritage Tourism/walks, Religious Tourism/ circuits, Eco Tourism, Wildlife, River Tourism and Culinary’ Tourism. There will be provision for training in different Foreign languages also such as French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, German etc. Duration of which will be 02 weeks (96 hours).
4.3 Recognition of Prior Learning Course: This would be Basic course for the Veteran (Existing)tourist guides, focusing on destination knowledge with clear idea about Product, Services and Experiences that Bengal Offers to the tourists. Development of Interpretation, Presentation & Execution skills. Duration of which will be 02 weeks (96 hours).
4.4 New Tourist Guide: After completion of the Basic course training & passing of the examination they will be given certificates. Thereafter upon successful completion of a period of one year in the profession as a Tourist Guide, they may opt for any two of the Advance Courses, duration of which will be two weeks. Subject to condition that they have adhered to all the Terms and conditions regulating their conduct and performance and Code of Conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism.
4.5 Veteran (Existing) Tourist Guide: The Veteran (Existing) tourist guide after completion of the recognition of prior learning training will be given certificates. Thereafter upon successful completion of a period of one year in the profession as a Tourist Guide, they may opt for any two of the Advance Courses, duration of which will be two weeks. Subject to condition that they have adhered to all the Terms and conditions regulating their conduct and performance and Code of Conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism.
5. Eligibility and Registration procedure
a) Eligibility criteria for New Tourist Guide:
i. The candidate must have attained the age of 18 years as on the date of application.
ii. The candidate should have completed 10th Standard or equivalent examination conducted by any recognized Board by State Government/ Government of India on or before the date of registration to the course.
iii. Should be enthusiastic about history, culture and tourism
b) Eligibility criteria for Veteran (Existing) guides to register for the Recognition of Prior Learning Course.
i. The candidate must have attained the age of 18 years as on the date of application.
ii. The candidate should have completed 8 standard examination.
iii. Should be enthusiastic about history, culture and tourism
iv. Should have been working in the profession as a Guide for at least 03 years and would have to upload any Veteran (Existing) valid certificate of IITF and IITG Certification Programme OR a certificate of experience in the said profession duly certified by competent local authority (BDO in case of Block/ SDO for municipal areas Director Tourism for Kolkata) based on local enquiry/recommendation of Gram Panchayat/Municipality.
c) Documents to be uploaded/submitted. Intending applicants both New/ Veteran (Existing) guides may register themselves online in the website of West Bengal Tourism Department and upload all the following documents
OR submit the application form & documents at Office of the District Magistrate/BDO/Office of Director
Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation: –
i. Document showing age proof (copy of 10th Class Board Certificate/birth certificate issued by the competent authority/EPIC/Aadhaar Card )
ii. Educational Qualification -Standard 10 or equivalent certificate wherever applicable, (issued by any recognized Board by Government of India/ State Government)/ Standard 8 result as applicable, and
iii. Recognition of Prior Learning Course-The Veteran (Existing) Guide must submit valid certificate of IITF and IITG Certification Programme OR a certificate of experience in the said profession duly certified by competent local authority (BDO in case of Block/SDO for municipal areas/Director Tourism for Kolkata), based on local enquiry/recommendation of Gram Panchayat/ Municipality – applicable only for Veteran (Existing) Guide applicants.
d) Registration process:
i. Any person aspiring to be a WBTG Basic/ a Veteran (existing) Guide who wishes to enroll for RPCL Course and Advance Guide can register himself online through the website giving all the details as required therein. In the process of registration, he/she will be creating a User Id. and Password. The registration would be based on Aadhaar Card No. issued by UIDAI or Voter Card Id. No. issued by Election Commission of India along with One Time Password (OTP) based verification using Mobile Number.
ii. Application will be addressed to concerned District Magistrate for respective districts and to Director Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Applicant is required to upload the documents such as age proof, minimum qualification requirement, etc. as mentioned under Para 5, c) of page 05.
iii. All the applications received online will have to be scrutinized & disposed off by the respective District Magistrate for respective districts and by Director Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
iv. In case of applications received offline at the Office of the District Magistrate/ BDO/ Office of Director Tourism the same would have to be scrutinized and process of online registration done at the district level under supervision of representative of District Magistrate and for Kolkata Municipal Corporation it will be done by Director Tourism.
v. The documents submitted by the candidate at the time of registration would be subject to verification by the concerned authorities. In case, at any point of time, it is found that the candidate had submitted a false or fabricated document, his/her application would be cancelled without citing any reasons.
vi. The registration of the candidate would be subject to Police verification of character and antecedents. The concerned District Magistrate/ Director Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation will send all the cases received at their end to the concerned police authorities for police verification of character & antecedents. In case, police verification of character and antecedents of a candidate is found negative, his/her application would be rejected.
vii. The selected candidates who are registered will be provided training.
6. Training Module
6.1 The training will be conducted at the District Level under the Utkarsh Bangla module through the Department of Technical Education. Each course of WBTG (Basic), RPCL for Veteran (existing) Guide and WBTG (Advance) would be divided into different modules based on areas with contiguous districts having similar tourism narratives as per the following classification:
- Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas
- Purba and Paschim Bardhaman, Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram
- Murshidabad, Nadia, Birbhum, Malda, Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur
- Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Coochbehar
- Darjeeling and Kalimpong
6.2 The modules would be designed to equip candidate with Basic knowledge and skills required by a Tourist Guide in their discharge of duties. Each of the modules would have separate content catering to the tourist destinations and areas of different Districts falling under the areas so classified.
6.3 The training partner under Utkarsh Bangla will be selected by Department of Tourism from the experts in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector.
7. Examination for WBTG (Basic) and WBTG (Advance)
7.1 After successful completion of the WBTG (Basic) and WBTG (Advance) training an examination would be conducted by the Department through the Training Partner under Utkarsh Bangla module.
7.2 For the Veteran (Existing) Guide a certificate will be issued once they complete the training of Recognition of Prior Learning Course (RPCL).
7.2 Candidates who have passed the examination will be eligible for an Induction Programme of three working days with tour operators recognized by the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal nearest to the training centers.
7.3 Certificates would be issued by the Director Tourism to the successful candidates the validity of which would be five years.
7.4 The Guides will also be issued an Identity Card and a Badge by the respective District Magistrate / Director Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The Identity Card and Badge will be provided by the Director Tourism to the districts.
7.5 It would be mandatory for the registered & certified WBTG (Basic), Veteran (Existing) Guide completing the RPCL Course and WBTG (Advance) Guide to wear the badges and Identity Card while discharging their duties. All certified Tourist Guides would be listed on Department of Tourism website where a data base of certified Tourist Guide would be maintained by Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal. This would be available for use by all interested stakeholders.
7.6 The copy of the certificates issued and Identity cards will have to be shared by respective District Magistrate/ Director Tourism for Kolkata Municipal Corporation with the Tourism Department.
8. Refresher Course
8.1 Before completion of five years’ validation period, a Tourist Guide has to undergo one weeks’ refresher course to be conducted by the Department under the Utkarsh Bangla module.
8.2 It would be mandatory for WBTG (Basic), Veteran (Existing) Guide completing the RPCL Course and WBTG (Advance) to get them registered for refresher Scheme. The candidate may get themselves registered for refresher courses well before four months of expiry of five years’ validity period.
8.3 They will have to get themselves registered using their valid WBTG (Basic), RPCL Course and WBTG (Advance) Certificate and Aadhaar card number given by UIDAI or Voter ID card issued by Election Commission of India and their mobile number. Once they have completed the refresher course, WBTG (Basic), RPCL Course and WBTG (Advance) certificate. Identity Card and badge would be renewed by the issuing authority for a period of further five years.
9. Disqualification of West Bengal Tourist Guide (WBTG)
9.1 It is expected that WBTG will deliver their work in professional and ethical manner with due diligence and sincerity. All WBTG will be required to give their acceptance for observance of ‘Code of Conduct’ as prescribed by the Department of Tourism. Government of West Bengal (Annexure-2).
9.2 In case there is any serious complaint against the functioning, behavior etc. against a WBTG, be of any categories, the matter will be considered by a 3 member committee headed by respective District Magistrate or his representative not below rank of ADM. In case the allegation/ complaint against the WBTG is found valid/ correct, the said Tourist Guide may be disqualified to perform in his capacity according to the decisions of the competent authority.
10.1 The Registered Tourist Guides will be authorized to work in West Bengal on a full time basis independently or can be engaged by the stakeholders of the tourism sector. It is mandatory for the Tourism Service Providers recognized by the Department of Tourism to engage only the certified Tourist Guides.
10.2 The Training & Resource Partner selected under the Utkarsh Bangla module would be entrusted with the responsibility of preparation & upgradation of the entire training module for the course, conduct of examination, training & facilitating internship, documentation, certification process and other facilitation process in consultation with the Tourism Department.
10.3 The Department reserves the right to suitably amend & modify the provisions in these scheme as suited to the evolving changes in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
By order of the Governor,
Sd/- NANDINI CHAKRAVORTY
Principal Secretary to the
Govt. of West Bengal
Terms and conditions regulating the conduct and performance of WBTG (Annexure I)
- The WBTG, when on duty, shall; always wear Badge and Identity Card issued to them while accompanying the tourists.
- The WBTG (Basic), RPCL Course and (Advance) Certificate/ Identity Card is strictly non-transferable and they will not lend their Identity Card/Badge or any other document which may have been issued to them to any other person(s). Any violation of this rule would make them liable to disciplinary’ action and WBTG may be disqualified to perform in his capacity according to the decisions of the competent authority.
- In case of loss or damage to the Identity Card/Badge or Certificate, the concerned WBTG would immediately inform the issuing authority and the nearest Police Station. The concerned WBTG has to apply for the duplicate Identity Card/Badge or Certificate on the basis of complaint filed with police and statement that the Identity Card/ Badge or Certificate has been lost. The W’BTG would be responsible for the safe custody of the Identity Card/ Badge or Certificate.
- The WBTG would dress in a presentable manner to uphold the dignity and honor of the profession to which he/she belongs and of the state.
- The W BTG would not refuse without valid reasons any assignments given to him/her by Department of Tourism. Government of West Bengal or by any agencies such as travel agents/ tour operators/ hoteliers. etc.
- The WBTG would maintain good conduct and courteous behavior towards tourists or other officials with whom he/ she comes in contact during the course of his/her assignment.
- A WBTG would be compulsorily required to attend any short-term training, refresher courses that may be organized by the Tourism Department from time to time.
- The WBTG would accept assignments only to the Region for which a certificate has been granted. They would be entitled to accompany tour groups visiting Bengal as a guide for the city/destination for which certificate has been granted.
- If a WBTG remains absent from active guiding for a period exceeding two years due to reasons of health, absence from country, etc., he/she shall be deemed to have left the profession and in that event the guide certificate issued to the guide shall stand cancelled. However, in case a guide w ants to rejoin the profession after an absence of two years he/she would have to undergo a Refresher Course organized by Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal.
- The WBTG shall, at the time of being granted the certificate, sign a pledge of commitment to abide by the Code of Conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism as adopted by Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal.
Code of Conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism for WBTG (Annexure 2)
- The WBTG shall always project a good and positive image of Bengal
- The WBTG shall consider himself/ herself a friend of the tourists, be courteous and helpful and never betray the trust placed in them by the tourists and carry out his ethical and moral responsibilities with dignity.
- The WBTG would always be courteous, efficient, tactful, kind, understanding and project the sweet and hospitable nature of Bengal.
- The WBTG would ensure to give correct and all possible information of the latest developments in the State and keep himself/herself up to date. He/she would understand and convey the positive aspects of his culture and tradition, and be well versed with matters relating to local customs, habits and traditions to ensure that both the tourists and the local people respect each-other.
- The WBTG would always be punctual, well groomed, presentably dressed, well-mannered, sober and cultured. His/her dedication and conduct should ensure that the image of the profession or that of the state is never tarnished.
- The WBTG shall at all times be committed towards the entrusted duties and be of exemplary conduct, not only, in dealing with tourists but with others such as the Government Officers and members of the public.
- The WBTG shall refrain from unethical or discriminatory conduct and deal with propriety and impeccable honesty. He/She would refrain from entering into shady deals for monetary and other gains nor would he/she intentionally, mis-lead the tourists.
- The WBTG shall refrain himself/ herself from all possible arguments and remember that the customer is always right.