10 newly qualified tour guides ready to provide ‘lasting memories’ of Mid and East Antrim

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim has hosted a celebratory event to recognise newly qualified tour guides.
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Participants in the accredited OCN Level 2 tour guiding course undertook training from January to March through Northern Regional College.

Congratulating the 10 tour guides, the Mayor, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: "We are thrilled to celebrate the successful completion of this OCN Level 2 training course by local people from the Ballymena area. This accomplishment not only reflects their commitment to personal development but also their dedication to enhancing Mid and East Antrim’s tourism sector and their local communities.

“Growing the economy and developing our tourism potential are two strategic priorities for council. For that reason, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council were pleased to fund this course and to work in partnership with Northern Regional College, to ensure that local communities and the hospitality and tourism industry all have the skills and support needed to grow and make the most of future opportunities.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with council representatives and tour guides. Credit: Paul FaithThe Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with council representatives and tour guides. Credit: Paul Faith
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna with council representatives and tour guides. Credit: Paul Faith

“In successfully completing this training, they are now armed with the confidence, knowledge and skills to create unique experiences for visitors which will help create long lasting memories of their visit to Mid and East Antrim. Visitors will benefit from their local knowledge of culture and heritage, which enriches their awareness and understanding, and gives them the opportunity to learn things they could never find in a guidebook.

"Encouraging visitors to take time to explore our ‘hidden gems’ adds value to our local tourism industry, and makes their stay so much more interesting and worthwhile.

Valuable Contributions

“We congratulate each of the tour guides on their achievement and look forward to their valuable contributions in offering unforgettable experiences to visitors and new experiences within the borough.”

The OCN NI Level 2 Award in Tour Guiding qualification equips learners with skills in the travel and tourism industry to enable them to develop a tour commentary and lead groups on a guided tour.

The course assessment method involved the completion and submission of a learner portfolio, covering three key learning outcomes: understanding the role of the tour guide in the travel and tourism industry; producing a concise tour commentary; and comprehending the health and safety implications of tour guiding.

Karen McLeod, Travel and Tourism lecturer at Northern Regional College, said: "It has been an absolute pleasure guiding this cohort of aspiring tour guides through this OCN Level 2 training course. Witnessing their growth and passion for showcasing the beauty and history of Mid and East Antrim has been truly inspiring.

"I have no doubt that these newly qualified guides possess the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to provide exceptional tours that will captivate visitors from near and far."

A further free OCN Level 2 Tour Guiding course for residents within Mid and East Antrim is being organised by council for September 2023 and will run for eight weeks.

Places are limited and set criteria will apply. If you would like further information on the course or to obtain an application form email: [email protected]