BASSETERRE (18th May, 2022): Five staff members of the St. Kitts Eco Park completed a week-long training workshop for tour guides, as part of the broader community tourism vision, which aims to provide sustainable tourism opportunities in rural areas for residents to earn a living.
The training enables tour guides to effectively conduct immersive tours on various aspects of the St. Kitts Eco Park, which is an agro-tourism demonstration farm located in Newton Ground. The park includes fields of a wide variety of fruits, a greenhouse, rose gardens, topiary maze, herb gardens and educational exhibits.
The trained tour guides are:
- Tishari Kelly
- Thyra Richardson
- Chaselyn Ferlance
- Lovique Carter
- Teshell Samuel-Ceaser
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, said the St. Kitts Eco Park is undergoing upgrades to deliver a more quality experience, and provide entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for residents living in the area.
“I am very delighted that the Eco Park now has five trained tour guides, who are from the surrounding communities,” Morton said. “Our community tourism projects create collaboration and synergy between the communities and established enterprises, such as the Eco Park, to not only diversify the rural economy, but to also improve the economic welfare of our people.”
The week-long training was conducted by local historian, Leonard Stapleton, who is a heritage consultant, author, professional guide and tour guide trainer. Other than the extensive training on the various facets of the Eco Park, the tour guides also visited other attractions, which included Caribelle Batik and the Kittitian Hill development to observe best practices on conducting tours.
The tour guides also learned the following:
- Role of the guide
- Listening skills
- Professional etiquette
- The art of storytelling
The tour guides were given a Tour Guide Manual, upon completion of the training. They will be monitored, and undergo reinforcement training periodically, particularly when new features are added at the Eco Park.