Northumberland Tourism

Northumberland's Destination Management Organisation

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New recuits to begin Blue Badge Guide Training in the North East

bluebadge regional 189A group of newly recruited trainee tourist guides for the North East region will shortly begin their training for the Blue Badge Tourist Guide qualification.



A new and updated training programme, lasting for one year will help applicants to qualify for the highly prestigious “Blue Badge”, as awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding. For a tourist guide, earning a Blue Badge is like a chef receiving a Michelin Star.  


This course hopes to boost numbers of self-employed guides in the region to compliment the growth of tourism across the North East. There hasn’t been a training course in the North East for around 10 years so for many this is their first chance to get involved.  


The training programme will teach candidates to deliver interesting, factual and enjoyable guided tours on foot and by coach, so that visitors can fully appreciate and enjoy the region’s fascinating cities, towns and villages, buildings, history, characters, economy and countryside.


“Leisure and business tourism is an increasingly important part of the North East economy” said Course Director David Waite. “Visitors’ expectations are high and our programme is accredited by The Institute of Tourist Guiding to meet stringent criteria to provide professionally trained Tourist Guides who can offer high quality tours. We believe this will encourage more people to visit our fascinating region and to enjoy it to the full.”

As well as practical experience in tourist guiding techniques and communication skills, the trainees will study a  host of subjects of interest to visitors and will be examined in April 2020.


The students will be examined on foot, on a coach, in a cathedral and in an art gallery, all requirements to gain the respected “Blue Badge” awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding.


“There’s more to being an effective tourist guide than just knowing about history” said joint programme director Laura Rhodes  “although history is obviously important, the students will immerse themselves in the whole culture of the region, so that they can entertain and inform people from many different backgrounds.”


As well as English there are trainees speaking German French and Spanish.

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