The Adventure Travel Trade Association, in partnership with Wilderness Medical Associates International and Samarth-Nepal Market Development program (or NMDP, funded by UK Aid), is hosting the first Adventure Guide Training event in Kathmandu, Nepal from June 13 – 20, 2016.
In an effort to help build local capacity for tourism and support the economic growth of the adventure travel sector in Nepal, Samarth-NMDP through its Great Himalaya Trails program is working with ATTA to provide this guide training for nature and adventure travel guides. Guides coming through this program will gain adventure guiding skills and confidence as well as a stronger understanding of how to work with the trekking market segment. The participants will receive two certificates: one from the ATTA’s AdventureEDU, and a wilderness first aid certificate from Wilderness Medical Associates.
ATTA’s course includes both classroom and field work. The classroom sessions will be held at the headquarters of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) in Kathmandu. The field training will be conducted in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park in the Kathmandu Valley. The course will be led by AdventureEDU Educators and longtime guides Gordon Janow, Dan Moore and Jean-Claude Razel, who also created the training content to align with the newly released International Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard. Sue Purvis and Peggy Miller from Wilderness Medical Associates will provide wilderness first aid training in the last three days of the course.
“ATTA is honored and delighted to provide this training to a group of ambitious Nepali guides, which includes two women,” said Christina Beckmann, who leads ATTA’s AdventureEDU program. “We had 86 applications for this program, and it was a challenge to narrow them down to just 20.”
Designed to elevate local guides’ abilities to take on the trip leader role predominantly performed by western guides on adventure travel trips, the course covers group management, communication and interpretation skills in addition to technical skills such as safety and risk management and orienteering. A section on wildlife trafficking teaches participants how they can educate guests to recognize souvenirs and other merchandise made from endangered animal species. The curriculum for Nepal has been tailored to meet the specific needs of the region’s adventure guides, incorporating instruction on topics such as altitude sickness, for example.
Sumit Bara, the Tourism Portfolio Manager at Samarth-NMDP remarked, “The Great Himalaya Trails promotes mountain tourism experiences that are exceptional, meaningful and diverse. By supporting the guide training, we hope to contribute to further improving the industry standards and ultimately the quality of experiences offered in Nepal.”