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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 26, 24-30 September 2022

Career as Tourist Facilitator

The growing influence of the tourism sector as an economic powerhouse and its potential as a tool for development are irrefutable. The COVID19 pandemic has taught the world that not only does the tourism sector spearhead growth, it also improves the quality of people's lives with its capacity to create large scale employment of diverse kinds. The Government of India has recognised the tourism sector as having the highest job-creation potential across the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. Following the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision to use tourism as a tool for employment generation and inclusive development, the Government plans to create a pool of well trained and professional tourist facilitators across the country. For the purpose, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) and Incredible India Tourist Guide (IITG) Certification Programme.

Who is a Tourist Facilitator?

A tourist facilitator is the most important touch point for the visitor, with the satisfaction of the visitor directly related to the quality of immersion in the local experience. As tourism around the world gets competitive, destinations need to differentiate themselves on the basis of their distinct personalities and their ability to create a positive image in the minds of customers and prospective visitors to the country. The success, therefore, largely depends upon the competence of the person mediating the experience for the visitor and this role is invariably played by the tourist facilitator.

Tourist facilitators are essentially interpreters of a place/ event/experience. Their job is both delightful and challenging. A tourist facilitator is tasked with making tourist spots appealing, explaining intricate stories of history, mythology, culture, nature, cuisine, art, etc., eliciting interest and awe in the visitor about the country. S/he has to uphold the cultural traditions and heritage of the place being visited and also talk of social customs, heritage, myths and even local folklore.

A tourist facilitator must have knowledge, interpretation skills, presentation skills, and execution skills. To expand the scope of their work, they must acquire necessary experience of working as interpreters, hone their communication skills, and gradually acquire domain knowledge about various tourist destinations.

What are IITF and IITG Programmes?

 Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme is a digital initiative of the Ministry of Tourism for the citizens of the country to become a part of the booming tourism Industry. It is an online programme where one can learn about tourism at their own time, space, path, and pace. The successful completion of this programme enables the learner to become a Certified Tourist Facilitator of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

The objective of the programme is to provide online training and accreditation of tourist facilitators through a centralized pan-India e-learning module. The Basic IITF Certification Programme Course is divided into various modules. The first six modules aim to equip candidates with basic knowledge and skills required by a tourist facilitator. The last module is related to tourist destinations and experiences of different States of India. It is mandatory for the candidate to complete at least one State for completion of course. However, more State modules can be taken up to enhance individual knowledge (optional).

Each module in the course has to be completed so as to gain access to the next module. The course will require completion of all modules. After completion of the module, an Online Course Completion Certificate (OCC) will be generated. Once generated, OCC will be valid for three years from the date of issuance. The candidate must obtain OCC minimum one month before registering for the End-of Programme examination. Before completion of the validation period, a tourist facilitator has to undergo two weeks' online refresher course to be conducted by Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM).

Once the candidate has successfully completed all the modules of the course and generated OCC, s/he may register for the examination. Normally, the examination would be conducted twice in the calendar year, i.e. June and December. The enrollment for June exams would be closed on 30th April and for December exam on 31st October.

Candidates who have passed the end-of-programme examination will be eligible for further training and Internship. The candidates will undergo a sevendays training conducted by IITTM at the same centre selected by the candidate for end-of-programme examination. The candidates are then required to undertake a mandatory internship of seven working days with tour operators approved by the Ministry of Tourism at the selected centres.

Categories of Tourist Facilitators

There are two categories of tourist facilitators:


i)                    Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) (Basic): This is the basic category of tourist facilitators, having knowledge of destinations in India and experiences that India offers to the tourists. The institution of tourist facilitators would be a basic component of the infrastructural requirement both for international and domestic tourism. The tourist facilitators are expected to facilitate pleasant and satisfying stay for the tourist during their visit to India.

ii)                   Incredible India Tourist Guide (IITG): These are specialized tourist guides in different areas of tourism. The IITFC Basic category certificate holder is eligible to enroll/ register for the Incredible India Tourist Guide (IITG) Level Category. The IITG category of tourist Guides are of two types, to start withIITG (Heritage) and IITG (Adventure).

a) IITG (Heritage): Heritage tourism is broadly defined as travelling to experience the places, artefacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and can include cultural, historic and natural resources. India is the perfect amalgamation of religions, customs, languages, and traditions and is reflected in its opulent heritage. India is a treasure trove of art, philosophy, architecture, classical dances, flora, fauna, music and much more making it a destination ideal for heritage tourism. This category of tourist guides would be having specialized knowledge in the field of history, culture & heritage.

b) IITG (Adventure): Adventure tourism includes a wide range of outdoor activities. Adventure tourists engage in activities that are physically challenging and sometimes dangerous, or perceived to be so. Examples are sports such as trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting and scuba diving. India, being a place of diverse terrain with mountains, rocks, forests, beaches, desert and rivers, offers much scope for adventure tourism, making it more exciting for adventure seekers. This category of tourist guides would be having specialized knowledge in the field of adventure tourism activities along with good interpersonal communication skills, critical thinking, planning and organizational skills. The tourist guides under this category must be adventurous, confident and passionate.

 iii) Certification of Specialization in spoken language: The spoken language is an optional specialization programme, which a candidate may opt for after completion of IITF (Basic) and/or IITG certification. Any IITF (Basic) and/or IITG category certificate holder having fluency in spoken foreign language (other than English) is eligible for registration. A candidate can also opt for language specialization in more than one language. The applicant is required to upload his IITF (Basic) and/ or IITG certificate at the time of registration for the language specialization.

Eligibility criteria

The candidate must have attained the age of 18 years as on the date of registration to the course on the portal by the candidate (iitf.gov.in). For IITFC (Basic), the candidate below the age of 40 years should have completed 10+2 or equivalent examination, whereas the candidates of 40 years of age and above should have completed 10th or equivalent examination conducted by any recognized Board by Government of India/State Government on or before the date of registration to the course.

For IITG (Heritage & Adventure), the candidate must hold a graduate degree of any of the universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or possess an equivalent qualification on or before the date of registration to the course.

The candidate is required to pay a registration fee of Rs. 2,000, or as modified from time to time, through the payment gateway as specified on the website/portal. The SC and ST candidates, the candidates who are domicile residents of the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir and the candidates who are the domicile residents of Aspirational Districts as identified by NITI Aayog (as amended from time to time) are exempted from registration fee. A 50 per cent concession is extended to female applicants on registration fee.

EN Team

Source: Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, iitf.gov.in