Eco-Tourism Tour Guides in Palestine
During the month of August our partner, the Palestinian Wildlife Society (PWLS) ran a course for Eco-Tourism tour guides in Palestine. This course has become an official course for tour guides by the Bethlehem University, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, as well as by the Environmental Quality Authority.
The course, which took place twice a week in the afternoon until late in the evening, was comprised of lectures and field trips, allowing for the future Eco-Tourism tour guides to gain academic as well as practical knowledge about the subject. The lectures were tailored for Eco-Tourism and contained a wide spectrum of topics such as: Environmental issues on a National, Regional and Global level; International conventions for the protection of nature; Nature Reserves in Palestine and the concept of their protection; the concepts of Eco-Tourism; Natural hiking trails in Palestine and much more. The field trips took the participants to: Um al Tut, which lies close to Jenin, to Beit Illu close to Ramallah, to Wadi Qana and to the Jordan Valley, all of which are Palestinian places of interest for Eco-Tourism. During these trips, the participants learned what a good guide should observe and what they need to take into account depending on what type of group they are guiding. For example, a group of young people would have different needs and a different energy level than a group of seniors. Furthermore, they were taught how to make their guiding style and technique more interesting, as well as learning various guiding methods used for plants, animals, birds and the Eco-System.
At the end of the course, the participants will took a final exam and received a certificate in an official ceremony held in the presence of Mrs. Rula Maa’yaa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.. The course will help establish a high quality and sustainable Eco-Tourism in Palestine, thereby creating new income sources without destroying nature and habitats for wildlife.