KOTA KINABALU: The dream of being united under one license in Sabah is now a reality for the 1,000 over tourist guides in the state.
The confusion and frustration caused by the two existing different colours of Blue and Green Licenses are now a thing of the past due to the concerted effort and persistence of Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA) senior members and the very much appreciated assistance of Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
STGA president, Grace Leong, in a statement yesterday, said that the ‘Gold’ colour Regional Specific Tourist Guide (RSTG) license had already been issued to more than 300 tourist guides.
“In combining the Blue and Green licenses, guiding with the Gold License is now permitted throughout Sabah while doing away with the restricted zoning before,” she said.
Tourist guides in Sabah have been taking the Regional Specific Tourist Guide ‘RSTG Migration’ courses which STGA has been conducting since September 2014 with the last course before end of October this year. As of to date, 300 STGA’s tourist guides have passed their RSTG examination.
These ‘Migration courses’ which are heavily subsidized by both Federal and State Tourism Ministries will end in October this year with two more examination dates, September 1-4, 2015 and November 3-6, 2015.
“This will enable the full implementation of the RSTG licenses, most probably by May 2016. The ‘Green’ licenses will ONLY be seen in these areas: Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Tabin Wildlife and Long Pasia, whereas few Blue Licenses will be seen in city areas only.
“As there won’t be any more Migration courses next year, existing guides will need to pay the full RSTG course fees of RM6,225 (500 hours) if they want to take the course next year. Those still with valid licenses by March 2016 will be offered the new zones as above,” Grace said.
She added that STGA has been conducting RSTG ‘Migration’ courses on monthly basis since September 2014 and while 2 courses are running concurrently in KK and Sandakan, there will be a NEW COURSE starting on July 27, 2015 which will enable the participants to take their exam in September.
STGA, Grace said, urges all its members to take this opportunity to study the Migration courses with the subsidies offered by the Ministries.
Participants will see themselves being elevated to the International Standard of guiding as the exclusive Communication Skills from World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) is included in the course and trained by the only 9 qualified national trainers in Malaysia (all STGA’s members), she said.