Cape Town, South Africa – Fair Trade Tourism certified member, Marine Dynamics has launched an FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) endorsed Marine Guide Training School in Gansbaai, Western Cape, for local and international students.
The seven-week course covers comprehensive theory on the Marine Big 5™ of the area – sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, penguins as well as seabirds. This new initiative is indicative of Marine Dynamics advocacy of the Fair Trade Principles to support skills training at all levels in the tourism industry, but particularly when it relates to the very sensitive marine environment.
Practical experience involves shadowing of onboard guides educating ecotourism guests on off-shore tours, rocky shore and dune walking, aquarium guiding, birding and marine conservation. The winter course will begin on 30 July 2018. Accommodation is provided, and lectures take place at the International Marine Volunteer Centre.
Marine Dynamics offers five-star shark cage diving and whale watching/eco tours with sister company, Dyer Island Cruises, in the unique Dyer Island ecosystem of Gansbaai, South Africa.
The companies have been Fair Trade Tourism certified since 2008 and are making a real difference in conservation and the community through their environmental project, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.
Marine Dynamics’ responsible tourism approach has been recognised through case studies and awards, notably the African/World Responsible Tourism Award, SKAL Sustainable Tourism Award and Lilizela. Guiding students will have the opportunity to learn from these businesses and their conservation work.
Principal trainer, Grant Hine, has thirty years’ experience in the guiding industry, more than half of that spent working on developing the FGASA field guide training material. “Marine Dynamics has embarked on providing the industry with professional marine guides due to the growing need of this profession. This will qualify students to register as legally qualified guides and seek employment. We are also looking forward to launching guiding certification for fynbos, culture and nature. There will also be certificate-based nature enthusiast courses which will appeal to people of all ages living in the Western Cape,” says Hine.
The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) provides educational opportunities to promote the conservation and rehabilitation of the cultural and natural heritage of Southern Africa. To this end, FGASA maintains and serves a professional association of highly-trained nature guides, tour operators and hospitality institutions who share the vision and are committed to the FGASA Code of Conduct and Responsible Tourism Guidelines.
Read more: Eco-Friendly Adventures: Marine Dynamics