Peculiarities of tour guide's work in Belarus

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Peculiarities of tour guide's work in Belarus

The International Tourist Guide Day is a professional holiday celebrated each year on February 21. To find out the peculiarities of this profession, the CTV TV channel has interviewed Nikolai Chirsky, chairman of the Belarusian Public Association of tour guides and guide-interpreters, and Tamara Fedortsova, vice-chairwoman, candidate of geographical sciences, tour guide.

The International Tourist Guide Day came to be celebrated in England since 1990, and then spread to other countries.

How many tour guides and guide-interpreters are there in Belarus?

Nikolai Chirsky:
There are 894 tour guides and 183 guide-interpreters in Belarus.

Is there any significant difference between tour guides and guide-interpreters?

Nikolai Chirsky:
There are special qualification requirements for a tour guide and guide-interpreter in the Ministry of Labour, so these are two different professions.

Who develops tourist routes in Belarus?

Nikolai Chirsky:
This is done by professionally trained people. A tour guide and methodologist are people who can create a tour route.

How long should a tour last?

Nikolai Chirsky:
I must say that the duration of a tour depends on its theme.

How do tour guides manage to memorize so much information? Does this ability come with experience, or are there any professional secrets?

Tamara Fedortsova:
On the one hand, this ability improves over time. But the most important thing is that each tour is a creative work which every tour guide presents in their own way. At the heart of every tour is always a route which is very logically constructed. And this logic of one following after another allows you to organize this information and present it depending on the audience.

Where can one learn this profession?

Tamara Fedortsova:
There are a lot of courses for tour guides and guide-interpreters nowadays. Courses for guide-interpreters are conducted at a high level by the Institute of Entrepreneurship. Tour guides are trained in Belarus only by national tourism agencies. But a new competitor will appear in the next academic year, this is the Republican Institute of Higher Education, a respectable educational institution that wants to take on such a burden. Because it is difficult to prepare a tour guide. Any tour guide must understand what the methodology of the tour is. Because it is special. This is what specialists must convey to them. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer specialists in Belarus.

What are your favorite sights in Belarus?

Nikolai Chirsky:
I really like Pinsk. This is one of the most beautiful towns in Belarus. I advise everyone to visit it.

What special places can one visit there?

Nikolai Chirsky:
For example, the embankment of the river Pripyat and Pina. There are white steamboats on which you can ride.

Tamara Fedortsova:
It is really difficult for a person who is in this profession to choose what they like more, and what less. Belarus is beautiful in everything. In Western Europe, nature is more ‘civilized’, but it is still wild in Belarus. There are a lot of boundless and beautiful forests which lead our guests not just in delight, but in amazement.

More: How guides in Belarus work