The launch of the Thessaloniki school comes after the re-opening of the Athens tour guide educational facility in 2017, and aims – among others – to offer advanced training and experience which will in turn upgrade the overall tourist product.
Speaking to the Athens News Agency, the head of the school, Persephone Triha described the opening of the new facility as a “great investment”.
“We need professional guides who are trained to properly convey the wealth of the country’s archaeological sites and museums.
It is a great investment in human capital that adds value to the tourist product and reflects Greek hospitality worldwide,” said Triha.
The studies program runs for two years with 70 percent of positions to be covered by general/vocational lyceum graduates and the remaining 30 percent by higher education graduates. All candidates must demonstrate a certified C2 level of at least one foreign language (in addition to Greek). The language requirement ensures that guides will also be available to speak in a variety of languages which are now in greater demand.
The starting date of the courses, as well as more details on the school’s operation will be announced shortly. The school will be housed in a historic building on Iliados St.
Referring to the news, the president of the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG), Efi Kalampoukidou, said it does justice to the sector and to Greek tourism.
Speaking to Praktoreio radio, Kalampoukidou said the re-opening of tourist guide schools which operated in Greece, some 10 years ago, was of vital importance, noting that now extensive training is offered at a public institute to anyone with a high school diploma offering education in history and archaeology as well as all qualifications necessary.
Kalampoukidou was quick to point out that intensive seminars offered by private institutions did not provide the necessary qualifications.
“The tourist guide is the ambassador of a destination or a country, and in many cases it often depends on them whether visitors will enjoy themselves and return,” she said.