In celebration of International Tourist Guide Day, commemorated annually on 21 February since 1990, Robben Island Museum in partnership with the Department of Tourism will host a two-day celebration at Robben Island Museum from Thursday, 02 March 2017 to Friday, 03 March 2017. The purpose of the event is to celebrate and discuss the role tourist guides play in promoting peace, security and mutual understanding in relation to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This initiative is coordinated by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations under the leadership of the newly elected President, South African wine specialist, Alushca Ritchie.

According to Statistics South Africa’s December 2016 report on the tourism sector*, the industry created 32 186 new jobs in 2015, raising the tourism workforce from 679 560 individuals in 2014 to a total of 711 746 individuals. This is despite a decline in international tourists visiting our shores in 2015. Currently, one in 22 employed people in South Africa work in the tourism industry, representing 45% of the total workforce. In fact, tourism surpasses mining as an employer.

“A tour guide can either make or break your tour experience. Tour guides have the ability to share knowledge, history and humour tourists while guiding them through their escapades. It’s more than just storytelling; they essentially play a significant role as ambassadors of the organisation,” shares Infrastructure and Facilities Executive Manager of Robben Island Museum, Gershon Manana.

Under this year’s theme by the Department of Tourism: Peace and Development through Guiding; peace, sustainability and security will form part of the robust discussions. Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa will deliver keynote addresses emphasising the valuable contribution of tour guides to the tourism sector.

“Hosting the 27th year of International Tourist Guide Day is significant for us because we’re celebrating 20 years as a museum this year. We are excited to be paying homage to these dedicated men and women who are true ambassadors of world heritage sites,” concludes Manana.

Robben Island Museum offers educational and specialised tours. The guides include former political prisoners who are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the Island’s multi-layered 500 year old history. To find out more about the tours and the guides, visit http://www.robben-island.org.za/tours#tourtypes.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: www.robben-island.org.za or contact: infow@robben-island.org.za/ +27 (0)21 413 4200. Join Robben Island Museum on their social media platforms and share your island experience: Facebook(Robben Island Museum – An agency of the Department of Arts & Culture)| Twitter (@robben_island).

*http://www.statssa.gov.za/?cat=36

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For media queries, please contact:

Morongoa Ramaboa

083 465 5118

morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za

OR

Bongiwe Nzeku

082 603 9393

bongiwen@robben-island.org.za

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.