San Antonio in 2002 - The First NFTGA-USA Conference

The NFTGA-USA proudly issued a press release to report the great success of its first biennial conference that took place in San Antonio, Texas, January 13-16, 2002.

Approximately 165 representatives from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Gettysburg, Arizona, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, San Antonio, Silicon Valley, Salt Lake, Orlando, New Orleans, Boston, Denver, Orlando and San Diego gathered in national unison towards the continued development of the tourist guide industry in the United States of America.

Panel discussions on various hot topics common to most areas around the country brought lively discussions about ways to solve on-going problems. Certification and Continuing Education for Guides, as well as Motorcoach Parking and Restricted Access, Governmental Regulation of Guides were some of the key issues discussed. Why re-invent the wheel? The experience of guides in one city may help solve difficult situations elsewhere.

Speakers from diverse U.S. cities prepared excellent workshops including: "Handling Difficult People on Tour," "Walking Tour Tips," "Turning a Tour into an EXPERIENCE," "It's What You Don't Say...Non-Verbal Communication," and "Speaking Techniques to Maximize Your Oral Performance". These interactive presentations benefited new as well as seasoned guides.

Regional guide association participation (all volunteer non profits in a self-governing industry) brings together a wealth of experience from guides, docents, destination management companies, tour managers, and incentive trip directors to establish a base of support in a peer community.

The NFTGA is committed to raising the standard of professionalism with the continued development of the guiding profession in America. A great deal has been achieved, but the battle is not yet won. The NFTGA will continue to strive to increase the visibility of professional guides and to increase recognition and acceptance of tourist guides as equal partners in the tour and travel trade.

The NFTGA urges members of the travel industry to begin to or continue to include local guides whenever and wherever possible to improve the quality of their product for their clients. One of the on-going goals of the NFTGA is to continue to help cities and regions build their own associations.

In the press release, the NFTGA also wished to collectively thank the Professional Guide Association of San Antonio and congratulate San Antonio for the extraordinary hospitality extended to the delegates of the first NFTGA conference.