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Macao Host Int'l Convention for Tourist Guide Associations

updated: 2013-01-16

Xinhua, January 15, 2013

The 15th International Convention of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) opened in Macao on Monday, with over 300 tourist guides from 30 countries and regions attending.

Participants will discuss about the challenges of the tourist sector and catch up with the latest news to improve the performance of their job, while at the same time it will be a "Treasure hunt in Macau", as the theme of this year's five-day event, according to the organizer.

The convention also has a combination of local speakers who will share the cultural diversity of Macao, and WFTGA speakers who will focus on the Challenges for Tourist Guides in the 21st Century.

For the last few years, Macao has emerged from a well visited to a very popular destination, with visitor arrivals more than tripling since 1999 to around 28 million in 2011. At the same time, the number of licensed tourist guides increased by three-fold to over 1,600 currently, said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the director of Macao Government Tourist Office.

The rapid boom in Macao's tourism industry brought opportunities as well as challenges for local tourist guides.

The biennial convention WFTGA has been held in different regions of the globe since 1985. Today the organization has members from over 70 countries, representing well over 200,000 individual tourist guides.

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