Media Liaison - Francois Collin
10 April 2019
The EXCO of the NFTGA, through internal consultation, saw the need as per the Constitution of the NFTGA, to determine whether cases such as complaints, grievances, accusations and allegations levied by tourist guides against establishments, tour operator or other parties, as well as by such parties against tourist guides fell within the scope of responsibility off the NFTGA. The conclusion was that the NFTGA EXCO would be obligated to thoroughly investigate these allegations, in the best interest of all parties concerned, and to take into account both the interests of the tourist guide concerned, as well as the ramifications of any action contemplated towards the wellbeing of the tourism industry as a whole. As such, it was decided that any action taken on the basis of any such a case, would remain on hold until such time as both parties had been informed that a case had been made, and that they had been afforded the opportunity to respond, or had in fact responded. No action would be taken unilaterally by the NFTGA based on hearsay, and without having a written request for action to be taken by the aggrieved party as a means of formalising the complaint, or unless there was clear evidence of a breach of the Tourist Guide Code of Conduct as signed and accepted by all tourist guides. Based on this conclusion, the distinction was made that some cases should be considered misdemeanours, and self-regulatory measures would be applied, whereas in the case of more serious offences where the Tourist Guide Code of Conduct had been transgressed, the matter should be escalated to the relevant Provincial Registrar for further action. On the basis of this, there are currently several cases pending, and we hope to provide the aggrieved parties with suitable closure at the earliest possible opportunity. We need to emphasise that our primary responsibility is to ensure fairness and protection of the interests of the tourist guide, but we cannot provide support to tourist guides if they do not provide us with their side of the story, suitably backed up by documentary evidence in the form of e-mail exchanges, SMS messages, WhatsApp messages, other forms of evidence, itineraries, thank you letters, contracts, written confirmations, service level agreements and social media posts made at the time. No public announcements are to be made, no pre-judgement or assumptions that may jeopardise the aggrieved or other party are to be levied publicly, such as in social media posts. Full disclosure is essential. Partial disclosure will lead to the support of the NFTGA being withdrawn.