Industry faces crippling shortage of foreign-language guides

If left unaddressed, the shortage of foreign-language guides will become a crisis, members of the industry have warned.Industry-faces-crippling-shortage-of-foreign-language-guides-800x400

Jenny Briscoe, CEO of Gold Class Guides, said there simply were not enough guides speaking foreign languages. According to Alisha Kirk, Guide Manager at Tourvest, while many guides were able to speak more than one language this was more often than not local languages. “We have a major shortage of guides who are able to speak foreign languages and then a wide variety of foreign languages at that.”

Both Kirk and Briscoe pointed out that tour groups were being turned away because of a lack of foreign-language guides. According to Briscoe, a shortage in especially German, Italian, French and Mandarin existed. “We are just not able to service the German tour groups coming into the country as we don’t have enough German-speaking guides,” she said. “The same goes for Chinese. We have a shortage of guides who can speak Mandarin.” French and Italian speaking guides were also few and far between.