September 9, 2015

Milne Bay tour guides are now better equipped to meet the expectations of cruise ship visitors

An Australian volunteer, tourism professional Dr Anna Campbell, has assisted the guides to implement a new tour guide training program and complementary resources for Alotau-based Egwalau Tours and Events, which has markedly improved visitor feedback.
Dr Campbell explained that following an initial two- week intensive program, which focused on developing interpretive tour guiding skills, more than 70% of participating tour guides were rated as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ by cruise visitors, compared to predominantly negative ratings from previous cruise ship visits.
“We had 20 tour guides interested in the training but 40 actually showed up,” says Dr Campbell, who is on a short-term assignment through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program.
“I have completed several Australian Business Volunteer assignments, but this is the first where there was both observable and formal evidence of the immediate application of newly acquired skills. I was amazed at how eager everyone was to learn.”
Egwalau Tours and Events, run by Maxine Nadile and Elaine Bate, provides tourism services in Milne Bay, including events management and shore excursions for visiting cruise ships.
“The benefits we saw from the training was that the guides and site owners saw the value in their newly acquired presentation strategies, so that the presentation and cleanliness of their sites was greatly improved,” Ms Nadile says.
With almost double the number of cruise ships expected to dock in Alotau next year compared to 2015, improving the visitor experience is important to ensure the future growth of the local tourism industry and also generate more business opportunities for Milne Bay communities.
Ms Nadile and Ms Bate will now continue to deliver the training program, using the resources that Anna has developed, or brought with her from Australia. These resources include videos; a training manual and accompanying workshop presentations; and historical information from online sources, as well as from members of local community.
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Pictured: Australian volunteer, Dr Anna Campbell is taught the art of weaving by Elaine Bate and a Maiwara village elder. Weaving is one of the activities that villagers will teach tourists who visit Alotau on cruise ships.

Australian High commission Media Release

Author: verified_user