“No other individuals have the same direct, personal impact on the experience of our guests”. John Magee – USA

When tourists arrive in Tanzania, the guide is probably the first person they will meet.  The guide will stay with them throughout their visit, not just driving, not just finding animals, but providing a complete window into the country, its people, its culture and, of course, its nature.  The cook nurtures this experience by overseeing hospitality – drinks, snacks and meals. If a tourist chooses to climb one of Tanzania’s mountains, the porter is the third side of the triangle bearing the burdens and acting out of sight to provide all the amenities of the trip.  For this reason, these “field service providers” are regarded as major ambassadors for the Tanzanian tourism industry. No other individuals have the same direct, personal impact on the experience of our guests.

Nevertheless, despite their vital role and good work, many guides, cooks and porters feel neglected or under-appreciated in the tourism industry.  The Tanzania Tour Guide Awards were developed to give field service providers the opportunity to recognize their own efforts and celebrate their achievements.  The Tanzania Tour Guide Awards are now in their third year, and already they are generating a lot of excitement and interest.

In 2015, when Sadock M Zakayo was chairman of the Tanzania Tour Guides Association, he greatly admired the work that the association had done, and the achievements it had achieved, since its founding. However, he saw a need for more public recognition of the contributions that guides and others who work directly with tourists have made to tourism in Tanzania; this idea was not really consistent with the goals of TTGA, and the Board and his team agreed that he would take on the project of developing the Tour Guide Awards independently of the association.After stepping down from his position, he began working with a team of guides (Victoria Duncan, Nixon Massawe), teachers, other individuals with experience in the tourism industry to develop a vision for the awards and to plan the first event. The team were able to conduct a good selection process and to produce a successful awards program. In its first event were honored by the presence of the Minister of Tourism, the Rector of African Wildlife Management College, the directors of Tanzania National Parks, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Tanzania representative of Wild Aid. It attracted many sponsors from different parts of the tourism industry. The response exceeded the team wildest dreams.
First and foremost, we want to raise awareness and recognition of the work done by tour guides, cooks and porters and their enormous contribution to the tourism industry in Tanzania. In truth, these are the people who will be with the tourists for most if not all of their stay in Tanzania; and it is their service and professionalism that will determine visitors’ experience of our country. Yet the actual work that guides, cooks and porters do every day is not honored or well understood. The awards will shine a spotlight on the best of these ambassadors.Second, the awards are intended to inspire a sense of professionalism within the tourism industry. The example of the winners will create a sense of accountability and be a catalyst for professional growth throughout the industry. Finally, by celebrating the talents, success and achievements of these exceptional professionals we will improve the visibility and reputation of Tanzania tourism throughout the world.
For one thing, we hope that raising the profile of field service providers such as guides, cooks and porters will lead to more respect, better treatment and fairer pay. Secondly, we think that the awards will encourage greater pride and professionalism among our field service providers and instill a desire to improve their skills. Finally, by telling the world about the achievement of our tourism professionals, we want to increase tourism in Tanzania.
Tanzania Tour Guide Awards is an independent initiative that is not specifically associated with any other organization. However, we have a strong cooperative relationship with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tanzania National Parks, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and numerous professional associations of guides, porters, tour operators, hotels, airlines and other tourism industry stakeholders.
We welcome public involvement in terms of financial sponsorship and the donation of goods and services.
We would like to become the premier platform for bringing together the various parties in the tourism industry, government and the media, to celebrate and publicize the work that our field service providers are doing. We would like to have a strong presence in Tanzania, encouraging more Tanzanians to become tourists in their own country; and internationally to promote Tanzania as a destination where visitors can expect a world-class experience.
Anyone who works in Tanzania as a tour guide, a mountain guide, a cook or a porter is eligible for an award.

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