Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Asian Eyes' Malaysia - Tourist Guide Professionalism

            Today I am going to write about the tourist guide professionalism. Every professional profession had their own code of conduct and tourist guide in Malaysia is no exception. Tourist guide in Malaysia is governs by the Tourism Industry (Licensing and Control of Tourist Guides) Regulations 1992. Here I listed down some of the important things that a tourist guide must take notes off.

        One a student passes the tourist guide course, upon payment of the license fee (RM50.00 in money order or MO), submissions of Form 2 of the First Schedule for license and Form 3 of the First Schedule for authorization card, the Tourism Commissioner will issue to the approved tourist guide the license and authorization card. The authorization card issued shall contain the language code which indicated the language the tourist guide is proficient in and must wear/display it prominently. A tourist guide shall not act as tourist guide in any language other than the one stated in the authorization code. Validity of the license will be for a period not exceeding 3 years.

         Upon expiry, a renewal can be done using Form 4 of the First Schedule with a RM5.00 (MO) processing fee. Once approved, the applicant pays another RM50.00 (MO) for the license. Both license and authorization card are the property of the Commissioner. If there is no intention to carry on the guiding activity, the tourist guide shall return the authorization card to the Commissioner. In the case of loss or destruction of license or authorization card, the tourist guide shall immediately submit a letter to the Commissioner informing of the loss and submit an application for a replacement with documents that contain a police report, a declaration of oath in respect of the loss or destruction, three copies of photo and appropriate fee payable as provided in the Third Schedule.  

        Every tourist guide shall comply with the code of ethics provided in the Fifth Schedule Regulation 11 where the Commissioner shall exercise disciplinary control over all licensed tourist guides. The code of ethics are as follows:
01. Shall be well-groomed, courteous, honest, trustworthy 
      and dedicated.
02. Shall not use abusive language or involved in any fights or 
03. Shall not bad-mouth or criticize his colleagues, any establishment 
      or organization, the Government or its policies and campaigns or 
      any other person.
04. Shall not involved in conducts that will prejudiced the professional 
      image of tourism industry or country.
05. Shall safeguard reputation and professional image
06. Shall have good public relationship value, maintain friendly 
      relations and co-operation with other tourist guides.
07. Shall try to understand the character and needs of the tourists.
08. Shall exercise duty with care, with no untoward danger or 
      unnecessary risks to tourist.
09. Shall not leave tourist at any time.
10. Shall have updated information and materials on history and 
      culture of our country and government policies.

         The Standard Dress Form for Licensed Tourist Guides is covered under the Fourth Schedule (Regulation 10) as follows:
1. Dress code for male tourist guides are:
    a) Long or short-sleeved-Made-in-Malaysia Batik shirt worn with 
        plain long pant.
    b) Long or short-sleeved shirt worn with a tie and plain long pant.
    c) Collared T-shirt worn with plain long pants for adventure-type 
        tours only
    d) Uniforms that meet the above guideline supplied by any tour 
Trainee tourist guides are expected to don Batik or long sleeve shirt
with or approved attires in field trip or even during classroom lecture
2. Dress code for female tourist guides are:
    a) Long or short-sleeved-Made-in-Malaysia Batik (covering knee) / 
         Baju Kebaya. 
    b) Blouse and skirt (covering knee).
    c) Collared T-shirt worn with plain long pants for adventure-type 
         tours only.
    d) Uniforms that meet the above guideline supplied by any tour 
3. Shoes
    a) Shoes that covers the toes and heel
    b) No slippers or sneakers for City Tour Guides 
    c) Sport shoes for adventure tours only
    d) Dark colored socks for Males Tourist guides

         The Tourism Commissioner has the power to request a licensed tourist guide to produce his/her license and authorization card for inspection. If a person acts as a tourist license but does not have the license, on conviction, be liable to a fine not more that RM7,000.00 or imprison form a term not more that 2 years, or both. In case of continuing offence, in addition to the above, be liable to a daily fine not exceeding RM500.00 per day the offence continues to be committed. 

        A tourist guide's training does not ends upon getting his/her license. He/She shall attend further training and pass further tests of proficiency as required, for example to attend "We are the Host" course and to attend 3 Continuing Tourism Related Education(CTRE) in a year. A good tourist guide will do their homework before conducting any tour, and get the latest updated information, not only on Malaysia but preferable the world news too.

         The reason why I put these code of conducts and the requirements of a tourist guide is to ensure aspiring tourist guide understands what it takes to become a good tourist guide, as well as, to help tourists understand the criteria and the guiding principle of a tourist guide. I do hope tourists will hire more tourist guides after understand that tourist guide's course does contains the aspect of code of conduct, apart from the information of our country's history, geography, economy, traditions, culture and industry. After all tourist guides are the forefront ambassadors of our country.

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