The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) has reached a significant milestone by attaining full membership with the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA). This confirmation, received just last week, marks an exciting moment for us at FGASA and carries tremendous implications for both our association and members.

The WFTGA, a globally acclaimed and recognised association, that actively champions tourism guides as ambassadors of their respective countries, regions, heritage, cultures, and natural landscapes. Recognised as the faces of tourism worldwide, guides serve as the primary point of contact for international and local guests seeking to explore a diverse array of vibrant destinations.

At the heart of the WFTGA’s mission is the promotion of the guiding profession. Guides play a pivotal role as the first—and often only—representatives of a specific region or country that guests encounter. Infused with passion and enthusiasm, guides bring their experiences to life, leaving a lasting, positive impression on countless guests. With the power to positively change people’s lives, tourism guides are instrumental in providing authentic, professional, and well-informed experiences, ensuring guests derive the utmost value from their travels.

The WFTGA’s emphasis on promoting local guides ensures an authentic experience for guests and supporting the employment and professional development of guides within their regions. The organisation, founded in 1985, has evolved into a powerhouse, representing over 200,000 individual members and 86 associations in 70 countries worldwide.

This accomplishment translates to automatic access to the membership, services, and benefits provided by the WFTGA for all our active, paid-up, and legally registered FGASA members at no additional cost. FGASA guides are now positioned and promoted on the international stage as expert professionals, highlighting their skill sets, training, and experience.

Together, the WFTGA and FGASA are elevating the Southern African tourism industry by spotlighting its most valuable assets—the ethical, professional, and passionate guides who represent the region. They bring to life informative, facilitated guided experiences steeped in culture, natural history, and regional heritage for visitors from all corners of the globe.

FGASA and the WFTGA share a common vision for professional tourist guides, as reflected in our aligned codes of conduct. These codes not only instil confidence in guests and tour operators but also actively promote guiding as a noble career path that exceeds guest expectations while preserving the rich tapestry of cultures, histories, stories, and unique natural landscapes and wildlife that grace our planet.

We take immense pride in achieving full membership with the WFTGA, an honour that extends to all FGASA members. This recognition and promotion on the global stage underscore our commitment to excellence, professionalism, and expertise in the field of tourist guiding.