The newly qualified guides, whose languages include Mandarin, German, Spanish and French will be taking to the streets from April. Each guide has received more than fifty hours of training, focusing on the effective delivery of walking tours, coach guiding skills and group management. Alongside this they have been rigorously tested on their knowledge of the local area and The Beatles.
Some of the guides are also specialising in taking groups to North Wales, Chester and the Lake District. Claire Rider, Brilliant Liverpool Tours, who have spearheaded the training, explains, “Tourism in Liverpool is booming and the last council-backed training for guides was in 2013 and only included one foreign language guide.
“The demand for tours in foreign languages isn’t currently being met in the city but that’s set to change now that we’ve managed to train some fantastic new guides. We have a mix of native speakers of some languages and English guides who are fluent in a second language.”
The new guides can deliver tours in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hokkien. They will be employed by Brilliant Liverpool Tours to cope with the upsurge in demand from inbound operators to the UK for walking and coach tours in Liverpool.
Ms. Rider adds, “Having a guide who can speak a foreign language makes for a much better tour than using an interpreter, and it can often be cheaper. The new guides are proficient in city coach sightseeing, waterfront walks to show visitors the maritime UNESCO site, and have also passed an assessment to deliver Beatles walks and bus tours.”
Pete Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy Development at the Liverpool City Region LEP, says, “The city of Liverpool has always embraced initiatives that help keep it at the forefront of tourism in the UK. Brilliant Liverpool Tours has worked hard to develop a training programme that up-skills guides ahead of the 2018 Summer Season, and I want to congratulate them on a great initiative.”
The course was made possible via funding from the Liverpool Skills For Growth Fund with support from the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, supported by Marketing Liverpool and Visit Liverpool.
The Guides will graduate this month at the monthly Liverpool Tourism Members meeting.