Recently I attended a Tourist Guide Course preview that I got to know through a friend who has been following my blog. He has been reading my posts on my experiences exploring Singapore and thought I should consider taking up the Tourist Guide Course. I took his suggestion and went for the course preview to find out more for myself.
The Tourist Guide Course Preview
The facilitator who conducted the course preview is a veteran Tourist Guide. He emphasised that a Tour Guide is an ambassador of Singapore. It is different from a Tour Leader who leads a tour and coordinate logistical aspects and may not necessarily know much of the country he/she is leading the tour. The Tour Leader typically works with a local Tourist Guide of the destination.
At the course preview, I realised my lack of knowledge of the country I was born and raised in. The facilitator asked a simple and direct question – Do you know the meaning of our Singapore Flag?
We were all dumbfounded and felt embarrassed. He asked if we remember our national pledge that we have been reciting for more than tens years of our life and also during our National Day. Most of us tend to take things as it is and what we learnt in school were also long forgotten.
Meaning of Singapore Flag
The National Flag consists of two equal horizontal sections, red above white. A white crescent moon occupies the upper left red section. Next to the moon are five white stars arranged in a circle.
Each feature of the Flag bears a unique symbolic meaning. Red stands for universal brotherhood and equality of man. White symbolises pervading and everlasting purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the ascendant, and the five stars depict Singapore’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
Source: National Heritage Board
Tourist Guide Course & Certification
The course preview was an hour long and the facilitator explained the importance of having our own niche and also not to quit our day job just to attend the course.
The Tourist Guide course is a 7-month part-time course conducted through classroom sessions, online learning, field practice and assessments (both written and practical). Upon registration, each applicant will need to pass an interview before they are enrolled for the course.
The objective of the interview is to test the applicant’s attitude and aptitude. For the aptitude test, the applicant will watch a short video clip and then present what he/she saw in the video to the interviewers.
The Tourist Guide course consists of a total of five modules. At the end of each module, there is an assessment (written and practical) to test the participants’ knowledge. Upon completing the five modules and passing the assessments, an application could be made with the Singapore Tourism Board for a Tourist Guide License that is valid for three years.
Appreciating the Role of a Tourist Guide
Through this course preview, I have a better appreciation of the role of a Tourist Guide. This reminds me of my Israel trip. The tour was led by a lady from Singapore and the local Tourist Guide is an American Jew who moved to Israel a number of years back. The Tourist Guide is knowledgeable of the history of Israel, the significance of each place that we visited and also the biblical truths as it was a pilgrimage trip.
The Tourist Guide is not just knowledgeable but her ability to connect the dots and piece the stories together gave us a better appreciation of the places we visited. At times, she would have a few children in the tour group to help reenact the biblical story by assigning them the names of the biblical characters relating to the story she was telling us. She has definitely played a big role to make the experience great and memorable.
How much do you know about your country or city that you grew up in?
Have you ever joined any package tour? Would love to hear about your experiences.
Thank you for stopping by and happy Living for Experiences!