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In the most important development since the introduction of the Blue Badge qualification fifty years ago, the Institute of Tourist Guiding was launched on 18 April 2002 as the standard-setting body not only for Blue Badge tourist guides but for the whole tourist guiding sector. This momentous step for tourist guiding gives the greatest ever recognition of its contribution to the tourism industry and acknowledges the importance of a national Institute that has a distinct role in ensuring excellence now and for the future.

The Institute was created following widespread nationwide consultation, the involvement of both the English Tourism Council and the Tourist Guiding Foundation and the approval of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Trade and Industry.

At the official reception in Parliament to mark our launch both the Minister for Tourism and the Chairman of the English Tourism Council spoke of the Institute's role in encouraging greater professionalism and of raising the status of the guiding sector.


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