Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in India and many innovations are made every year. Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) program, an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is one of them. The Programme aims at creating a pool of trained professionals for facilitating the visit of tourists to destinations across the country. IITFC Course is a digital initiative of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India for the citizens of India to become a part of the booming Tourism Industry.
A tourist facilitator needs to have a certain soft and hard skill to exhibit in front of a guest as they represent the country. So in this article, we will know about the role & responsibilities of a tourist facilitator.
Role of Tourist Facilitator
Making Tourists Familiar
- The primary task of a facilitator is to make tourist familiar with environment of destination, people around, tradition and beliefs etc. He/ She can do all these things only with their communication power, so a facilitator needs to master their communication skills.
- Once tourists become familiar with the destination, its famous attractions and places of interest then it becomes quite easy for a facilitator to read the mind of tourists and predict their likes and preferences.
- Inform tourists about the history, geography and culture of the destination. Make tourist aware of local cuisines and unique selling products so that they miss nothing during their course of travel.
Interpreting Local Culture
- It is the responsibility of the Tourist Facilitator to interpret local customs and traditions for the world to tourist.
- It is a job of the facilitator to act as a bridge of cultural differences. First of all understanding the guest believes and religion support and then explain them with an informative tour.
- Tourist Facilitator can perform this duty only when they are well informed with local culture and tradition. And have relevant skills to explain the facts and concepts that a tourist needs to know.
Travel Local Dialects
- Translates local dialects and language to the language understood by the tourist as it removes the language barrier. Guests can find their comfort zone and become able to interpret the things easily.
- Facilitator needs to be well versed in the local language as well as in the guest’s known language, then only facilitator can entertain the guests.
- Translating host languages into guests preferred one enhances their overall tour experience.
Executing Tour Programme
- The major duty of tourist facilitator is execution of the tour programme by obtaining required permits, tickets or documents needed during the travel.
- Arranging all these helps in removing chaos during travel and make the journey smooth.
- The facilitator needs to stay in contact with different service provider and stakeholders, so that he/she can manage these formalities easily and save the guests from making extra efforts.
- It is also expected from tourist Facilitator to manage and helps in emergency situations like medical, theft, loss of baggage, etc. As a facilitator is well aware of local bodies and only a known person of guest in an unknown destination.
- Facilitator needs to act calmly and take wise decisions in intense situations. Because tourist may go haywire and start worrying about their belongings and health conditions.
- It is the responsibility of the facilitator to inform local police in case of theft or loss of baggage. In case of medical emergencies, they need to take immediate first aid. Modify the further itineraries as per tourist requirements and manage things accordingly.
- The role of facilitator starts from receiving the guests from airport/railway station and helping them with their luggage with a gentle smile on their face.
- Taking them to the hotel and assisting in check-in and also giving them personal space so that guest does not feel awkward.
- For performing this duty facilitator must have etiquettes and manners.
- Facilitator must maintain a thin line of professionalism with guest by not interfering in their personal issues.
- Assists tourists with their need at the destination on arrival and upto departure. Understanding their requirements and arranging all the services for them is a key duty of facilitator.
- Helping tourist by giving them valuable advice while their personal purchase at local shops or for choosing restaurants so that they may not be cheated and get a fair deal.
- Facilitator must be of helping nature who loves to assist every time when guest need them. As tourist facilitator acts as a friend, assistant, coordinator for tourist.
Along with certain responsibilities, there are several ethical practices that a facilitator needs to perform, as they are the image builder of the country and their actions can make or break the image of the country. Image of a country, the business of travel agencies and service providers rests on the shoulders of tourist facilitators because they are the frontline representative.
Here are some moral principles and practices that facilitators are expected to follow –
- Project a good and positive image of India.
- Always provide a genius and correct information to the tourist.
- Respect and safeguard India’s heritage and culture.
- Refrain themselves from unethical practices and should carry their conduct honestly.
- Always conduct himself professionally.
- Should not discriminate among the tourist and act fairly everytime.
- Always promote sustainable and responsible tourism practices.
- Have neutral view on political, religious and other sensitive issues.