About the NFTGA

A Brief History

The NFTGA-USA was created in November 1998 in Washington, DC, when the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, invited representatives of all known local guide associations and guilds from across the United States to come together to discuss the creation of a national guide organization. In early 1999, 12 guide organizations paid dues and became charter members to this new national organization.

The organization decided to call itself The National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations-USA or NFTGA-USA. The collective association membership totals nearly 2,000 tourism professionals from across the nation. These guide associations have gathered under one umbrella organization to collectively promote the visibility, importance and understanding of professional tourist guides.

Representatives from interested guide associations across the United States held additional organizational meetings July 1999 in Chicago and July 2000 in San Francisco. Much of the text seen on this website and the structure and goals of the fledgling organization were worked on at these organizational meetings.

In January 2003 the NFTGA was incorporated in the District of Columbia.

Download a more detailed history of the NFTGA (with photos) here:
Book 1Book 2

The first milestone of the NFTGA-USA was their first-ever national conference, held in San Antonio, Texas from January 13-16, 2002. The second NFTGA-USA conference took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 2004. The third NFTGA-USA conference took place in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2007. The fourth NFTGA-USA conference took place aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's (RCCL) Majesty of the Seas, starting in Miami, Florida. You can learn more about each conference here.

Our Mission Statement

The purpose of the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations-USA (NFTGA-USA) is to represent, promote and protect the common interests of tourist guide associations in the United States of America by:

Ethics & Standards

  1. A professional tourist guide provides a skilled, knowledgeable presentation; informs, interprets and highlights the surroundings; maintains objectivity and enthusiasm in a courteous and polite manner.
  2. A professional tourist guide ensures that all information presented is factual, and makes a clear distinction between what is true and what are stories, legends and opinions.
  3. A professional tourist guide keeps current on changes throughout the area s/he works, including but not limited to seasonal events, new exhibits, traffic laws and facilities, and follows the rules and regulations at all sites where tours will be conducted.
  4. A professional tourist guide is prepared for each tour when the itinerary is furnished in advance; reports on time and is responsible for facilitating the smooth, safe, efficient and timely movement of the tour.
  5. A professional tourist guide is sensitive to the interests and values of the tour group and does not share his/her personal views on controversial subjects such as religion, politics or lifestyles.
  6. A professional tourist guide knows and follows the policies of the company that contracts him/her and does not solicit a job from that company's client without the consent of the company; maintains loyalty to the company and protects the confidentiality of proprietary information. Also, s/he strives to establish a friendly and helpful rapport with the client, and uses discretion in the conduct of the personal business while on tour.
  7. A professional tourist guide dresses appropriately for the type of tour being conducted.
  8. A professional tourist guide extends professional respect and a spirit of cooperation to fellow guides, and strives to establish a good working relationship with all service providers on the tour route.
  9. A professional tourist guide accepts each tour as a serious commitment and cancels only when absolutely necessary, providing as much advance notice as possible.

The NFTGA Logo

When reproduced in color (as seen at the top of this page), the NFTGA-USA logo appears in red, blue and gold against a background of white. The stars represent the locations of the associations who worked toward the formation of the NFTGA-USA.

Alternately, the logo may also be printed in black and white, as it appears below.

NFTGA Logo