South African appointed president of global tourist guide body

During the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations convention, a South African guide was named president. Alushca Ritchie will be in the position for the next two years and thinks it is a great opportunity.

Alushca
Alushca Ritchie, a tour guide in the Western Cape, is appointed president of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in February 2017 for a two-year term. (Image: Department of Tourism)

Brand South Africa reporter

A South African has been appointed the president of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA).

Western Cape tour guide Alushca Ritchie was appointed during the 17th biennial WFTGA convention. It took place recently in Tehran, Iran.

Ritchie said she was looking forward to representing all tourist guides on a global platform. “This will be a great opportunity to learn and to promote a sector which is very rarely recognised as a profession, although it is an integral component of the tourism value chain.”

Travel and food

Her passion for travel intersects with her love for food. She described herself to News24 as an “oenophile and coffee lover of note, as well as a complete bibliophile and an avid foodie”.

Because of her interest in food, Ritchie enjoys showing travellers the vast variety of cuisine on offer in South Africa. “Our huge array of different ways to eat, things to eat and places to eat at are all unbelievably diverse,” she said.

Her travels had helped her realise how diverse South Africa was. “It’s something truly special,” she said. “Arriving home from an international trip always warms one’s soul.”

An achievement

“We are very proud of this global leadership achievement,” said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, congratulating Ritchie.

“This presents another opportunity for us to elevate the status of the guiding profession and to acknowledge the important role that our tourist guides play in providing superb visitor experiences,” he said.

The organisation

The WFTGA is a non-profit organisation comprising tourist guide associations, individual tourist guides, educational institutions and others that have a direct or indirect association with tourist guides. It is also an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The president of WFTGA serves a two-year term and is supported by an executive board made up of delegates from Australia, Iran, the USA, Canada and the UK.

The organisation’s convention was attended by about 350 participants and delegates from more than 40 countries.

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.