UNESCO and EU Conduct Training for Tourist Guides in Samarkand

A regional training for 22 tourist guides from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from 22 to 26 November, 2021.

The event was held within the framework of the project “Silk Road Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage” implemented by UNESCO with the financial support of the European Union.

The training in Samarkand was the culmination of the “WFTGA Hands on Tourist Guiding (HOT) Training for the Silk Roads Heritage Guides”, which was launched online in August 2020 in partnership with the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA).

The goal of the course was to train heritage guides to interpret the cultural and natural heritage along the Silk Roads.

The five-day training featured communication seminars, practical sessions, and a rigorous exam.

After completing the course, the guides plan to actively help visitors and tourists understand the diverse historical and cultural value of the Silk Road. As part of the course, a training handbook for Silk Road guides has been published in English and Russian. The manual is available for download at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374500

Feedback from course participants:

“The WFTGA training was very informative: at the beginning they gave us general information about cultural heritage before discussing each topic in more detail. They explained the basic tenets of working as a guide, and most importantly, what the mission of the profession is. They explained the guiding terms that we might encounter during our work. This really helped us make our own conclusions about societal and legal matters relevant to our profession. Contemporary topics included inclusivity, sustainable development in tourism, and making tourism accessible for all.”

– Zhanar, Kazakhstan

“I really enjoyed the course. I’ve now incorporating some innovative approaches into both my tours and my teaching methodology. A lot of returning tourists noticed a significant improvement in how tours were conducted before and after the training.”

– Lada, Kyrgyzstan

“The training was very interesting and versatile consisting of informative lectures and recommended literature. I also learned a lot about the specifics of a tourist’s guide work. I met interesting people from different countries, and it was a fascinating experience. After the training I came up with an idea for a new project through which people can learn more about my home country.”

– Kurbon, Tajikistan

“I had an unforgettable experience during the training. Our trainers were very experienced and imparted important lessons about the techniques to use during tours.”

– Sobir, Uzbekistan

The training participants also spoke highly of the trainers’ experience and methodology, networking opportunities with representatives of different countries, and the organization of the event.