INSTITUTE OF TOURIST GUIDING (Institute) APPOINTS ANITA MCLAUGHLIN & JACKIE CLARE AS CO-PRESIDENTS
Anita McLaughlin (Cumbria Blue Badge Tourist Guide and Member of the Institute’s Accreditation, Examination & Executive Committees and Qualifications Board), and Jackie Clare (London Blue Badge Tourist Guide and Member of the Communication & Executive Committees) are the Institute's new Co-Presidents.
As Co-Presidents Anita and Jackie will oversee the further development of the Institute's regulatory and course accreditation remit to ensure high standards of professional tourist guiding are maintained for the benefit of the public and the championing of the Blue, Green and White Badge qualifications.
Outgoing President, Carole Hiley, said: “I am delighted that Anita and Jackie will lead the Institute at a time when it is entering an exciting new phase in its development. Now in our 22nd year, the Institute is set to bolster its regulatory role, introduce innovation in training accreditation and deliver inclusivity and even more quality across the sector for the benefit of professional guides, our heritage and travel trade partners and the general public. We have been colleagues for some time and Anita and Jackie are perfectly placed to ensure we realise those aims. I’m sure together they will usher in an exciting new chapter in the story of the Institute.”
Anita said: “Professional tourist guides are a unique asset to the tourism and heritage sectors across the country, and I am extremely excited to be leading the Institute with my colleague Jackie. I am impressed by what the Institute has achieved in setting high standards of professionalism for our tourist guides and I firmly believe that the country's heritage is as much about people as it is about places. I’m looking forward to help support our sector to introduce more people to our inspiring landmarks, natural environment and spectacular sites.”
Jackie said: "Delivering high professional standards and eﬀective regulation in the professional tourist guiding sector will further reinforce the confidence of global travellers, tour agencies and sites placing our tourist guides at the heart of our tourism landscape. I am looking forward to moving ahead with our exciting plans across regulation and course accreditation reflecting our high standards and the contemporary tourism sector.
Anita McLaughlin has worked in the tourism industry throughout her career, starting in the family business in North West England before entering the education sector as a lecturer in travel and tourism, moving into quality assurance and development of qualifications in the travel, tourism & aviation sectors for a national awarding organisation. After many years of developing the younger generation for careers in the industry, she decided it was time to re-focus and took the opportunity to complete the Blue Badge qualification in Cumbria, successfully completing in 2011. Since then Anita has worked as a tourist guide and tour manager with tourists from around the world.
Jackie Clare has dual nationality British - Belgian. A native speaker of English, born and raised in England, she also speaks Dutch fluently. She qualified and practised as a solicitor in London, adding a Certificate of Pedagogy (high distinction) in Flanders and a Masters in Marketing and Advertising (hons) at Solvay School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles. She was European Manager of Butterworth Law Publishers, taught English at the Centre for Living Languages at the University of Leuven and worked for the law firm Linklaters – DeBandt. At KBC Group she coordinated all communications training and at the Royal National Institute for the Blind she focussed on the field of compliance with disability legislation. She qualified as a London Blue Badge guide in 2018.
Anita & Jackie were nominated as Co-Presidents of the Institute at the organisation's Annual General Meeting held in Newcastle on 9 November 2023.