DAR ES SALAAM, Plans are underway to register and approve all tour guides in Tanzania to ensure efficiency and proper management of the tourism sector.

The exercise aims at getting rid of unworthy and unethical tour guides currently working in the tourism fields.

Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Japhet Hasunga said that the scrutiny will be conducted early next year, with the approved guides issued with official identification cards.

The registration, according to Hasunga, is in accordance with the Tourism Act No 29 of 2008. The Deputy Minister was speaking at the Tanzania Tour Guides Award giving ceremony on the sideline of the third Edition of Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) at Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre (JNICC) in the City.

He told the gathering that the registration and approval of tour guides will come after all tour guides undergo national training at the Wildlife Management Institute, next month. Hasunga said the training would be coordinated by the government in collaboration with the tourism stakeholders in the country.

The training will help to ensure efficiency and improve services in the sector, the deputy minister said, calling for tour operators to work closely with the government and improve the well-being of their guides, the key players in development of tourism in the country.

He asked the tour operators in mountain climbing, safari tourism and hunting companies to improve the well-being of workers and provide them with better working facilities and environment.

Hasunga commended the organisers of the Tanzania Tour Guides Awards, reaffirming the government commitment to team up in the coming awards to honour outstanding professional tour guides in the sector.

The Secretary of Tanzania Tour Guides Awards, Ally Mtemvu, asked the government to formalise the tour guide sub-sector to ensure proper management of tourism services in the country.

He said the move would facilitate better working environment and well-being of tour guides towards improved tourism sector.

Mtemvu said that currently tour guides work in poor conditions, with majority of them lacking job security, prerequisite tour guide professional and ethical standards.

He said the awards seek to reward as well as encourage efficiency and well managed tourism services. Among the awardees were mountain porters, safari guides and cooks.