As the Japanese government grapples with an unprecedented influx of foreign visitors, the tightly regulated profession of tour guide is about to undergo major reforms. In March, the government doubled its target for foreign tourism and pledged a series of changes across the tourism sector. In preparing for the new wave of visitors, the Japan Tourism Agency decided to loosen regulations, saying there would be a massive shortage of licensed tour guides.
A guide working for the ministry of tourism must be knowledgeable about the country’s history, architecture and culture and have a PhD. A Rio de Janeiro tours must be a qualified professional, with at least five years’ experience in tourism, but should have knowledge of the country’s reforms as well as the government’s policy on attracting foreign visitors. Applicants must pass a test to determine whether they possess the right qualifications.
In the case of tourism, the government’s efforts have yielded positive results. The number of foreign visitors increased by more than half since the law was implemented. Today, the ministry employs more than two million people working in the industry, and nearly 6.7 percent of the country’s GDP comes from tourism. But the quality of these workers has not been guaranteed. The government has cut the number of interpreter guides by a third, citing that many of them lack the knowledge to educate their clients effectively.
In the case of foreign tourists, the government has passed laws to prevent them from getting poor service. A guide with a PhD has a much higher chance of getting work than someone who doesn’t have a PhD. The best tour guides are well versed in the history, architecture, and culture of a particular place. They also have the ability to improvise when necessary. The best guides have a keen sense of body language, a good knowledge of the culture and the laws of the country, and are up to date with technology and trends.
The country’s recent reforms in tourism have created a difficult situation for tour guides. Generally, the laws restrict the number of interpreter guides, which means that they cannot escort foreign tourists. As a result, the majority of tour guides are English-speaking. However, many of these interpreter guides are unqualified, and have to work for a government-approved agency. In some places, it is also illegal to provide a tour guide with English-speaking clients.
The tour guide’s job is often in danger of being fired or banned. This is especially true in the case of a foreign-language tour guide. The laws are not only aimed at limiting the number of interpreter guides, but also prohibiting the practice of offering the services of a bilingual interpreter. Some guides, like Matsumoto, are unlicensed but are highly knowledgeable in their fields.
There are two main types of guides: those who have a PhD and those who are not. The former must be knowledgeable about both English and Japanese culture and history. A tour guide should be knowledgeable about the latest technologies and trends. The government needs to provide a high-quality service to tourists, but if the guide is unlicensed, he may not be able to offer their services to foreigners.
A foreign-language tour guide who has been working in the industry for more than 20 years has seen many changes in the country. He has remained in the same place for over 30 years. He believes in the importance of his job and has a PhD in history. He is also an expert in English language and cultural history. He has worked as a cultural liaison in Kyoto for more than 25 years and has a PhD. He also knows that the government has no way to tell him what he or she will say.
The government has passed several laws regarding tour guides. The ministry of tourism has passed a law that requires people to hold a national license and earn money by escorting foreign visitors. While the law does not apply to all tour guides, violators face fines of up to Y=500,000. A veteran foreign-language tour guide Yoshie Matsumoto says the fundamental issue is the quality of guides. The increase in foreign tourists has led to the rise of interpreter guides, but the resulting reforms have threatened their jobs.