College course increases training for tourist guides

City of Glasgow College is working with the Scottish Tourist Guide Association (STGA) to offer a new training course for Blue Badge Tourist Guides.

The new courses, which will start in 2020, will run for 18 months and accommodate up to 36 trainees per programme.

Gordon McIntyre, Associate Dean, Hospitality and Tourism at City of Glasgow College, said:

“This is a new course for our college that we are excited to be working in partnership with STGA to deliver. The Blue Badge is a well-respected professional qualification that will complement our current Travel and Tourism programmes. Our college has a wealth of experience in working with industry so we are looking forward to working with STGA and welcoming our first intake of students.”   

Linda Arthur, Scottish Tourist Guide Association Chair, said:

“We are delighted to be working with City of Glasgow College and to have access to their outstanding facilities in City campus in Glasgow. Our new partnership will see the college deliver the core knowledge and business skills elements of the Blue Badge Course. It will also be much easier for people from all over Scotland to take part, as many lectures will be streamed online.”

The STGA, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is renowned for the quality of its training. There are over 300 Blue Badge guides in Scotland which is not enough to meet demand thanks to the current boom in Scottish tourism.  

Trainee guides are required to study core subjects such as geology, history, literature, art and architecture. Previously the courses ran every two years with students attending lectures at centralised venues, often involving travel and costs.

“Now they will be able to do much of their course work at home while practical aspects, such as regional awareness, guiding on coaches and walking tours, will take place out and about around the country,” added Linda.

The training is moving to an annual intake and the next Blue Badge course will run from September 2020 until March 2022, with registration in August 2020 and the Blue Badge exam in April 2022.

For further details please visit the STGA website.