To help tourist guides who are unable to take the designated tourist guide training courses and sit the relevant examination because of their inability to understand Chinese and English to obtain the Tourist Guide Pass, the TIC has set up the Accreditation System for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides. Under the Accreditation System, eligible people may study on their own and then sit the Accreditation Examination for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides. Those who pass the examination may apply for the Tourist Guide Pass, which is valid for one year, and may use languages other than English, Cantonese and Mandarin when receiving inbound package tours.
Conditions for applying for Accreditation Examination
Applicants may sit the Accreditation Examination for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides if they are:
- unable to take the local tourist guide training courses and sit the relevant examination because of their inability to understand Chinese and English;
- holders of the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, or holders of the Hong Kong Identity Card who are not subject to any condition of stay; and
- employed by a TIC member travel agent.
Applicants must submit the following documents to prove that they are eligible for the Accreditation Examination:
- Declaration: They must declare in writing that they are unable to take the designated tourist guide training courses and sit the relevant examination because of their inability to understand Chinese and English;
- Reference from employer (travel agent): They must provide an employment letter from their employer to verify that they are full-time or part-time staff of the company (sample); and
- Other documents which can prove that they do not understand Chinese and English: e.g. certificate of birthplace, academic certificates, etc.
All applications will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The TIC may interview the applicants, if necessary, in order to verify the information given by them, or request the relevant institutions to help verify such information.
If any applicant or travel agent is found to have given false information or used forged documents, not only will the application be nullified and the Tourist Guide Pass (if issued) be revoked, the case will also be referred to the Compliance Committee and reported to law enforcement agencies.
Examination format and language
The examination, which lasts for one hour, consists of an interview and a simulated road test. Interpreters will be provided by the TIC for the candidates. The examiners will first ask questions in Cantonese, Mandarin or English, and the interpreter will then interpret the questions into the language chosen by the candidate. Answers given by the candidates will be interpreted into Cantonese, Mandarin or English for marking by the examiners. Candidates only need to specify one language when submitting their application. For more details, please see the application form.
The candidates need to pay HK$1,000 for the examination fee, plus the fee for interpretation which depends on the charges of individual interpreters.
The TIC will provide candidates with the Code of Conduct for Tourist Guides, the relevant sections of the Training Manual for the SUS In-service Tour Guide Training Course (Chinese and English versions), and a set of study notes for revision.
Restriction on Tourist Guide Pass
Those who have passed the Accreditation Examination for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides are required to apply for the Tourist Guide Pass within two years since the issue date of the examination result slip. Late applicants must pass the relevant examination again before submitting their application.
The Tourist Guide Pass issued under the Accreditation System will stipulate that its holder is not allowed to use Cantonese, Mandarin or English when receiving inbound package tours. If the Pass holder is found to have used any of the above-mentioned languages in receiving inbound package tours, both the travel agents and the tourist guide concerned will be deemed in breach of the relevant regulations and the cases will be referred to the Compliance Committee for deliberation.
Renewal of Tourist Guide Pass
The Pass is valid for one year. The renewal fee is HK$150. Pass holders must renew their Pass three months before its expiry. Proof of being employed by a travel agent must be provided when applying for the renewal of the Pass.
Pass holders who renew their Pass within two years after its expiry do not need to take any examination.The new Pass will be valid for one year, counting from the day on which the Pass is issued.
If Pass holders renew their Pass more than two years after the expiry date, they must pass the Accreditation Examination for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides again before applying for the Pass. Candidates who fail the examination may resit, and the number of resits allowed is not limited. The new Pass will be valid for one year, counting from the day on which the Pass is issued.
How to apply
- Complete the application form, and post it or submit it in person to the TIC Industry Training Department together with the relevant documents.
- Eligible applicants will be notified to pay the fees, and collect study notes and other information about the arrangements of the examination.
For further enquiries, please contact the TIC Industry Training Department on 2807-1199.
- The Waiver Programme for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides ended on 28 February 2010. Those who registered with the TIC by that date and pass the examination by 31 August 2010 will still be issued with a three-year Tourist Guide Pass; however, those who pass the examination after 31 August 2010 will only be issued with a one-year Tourist Guide Pass.
- When the Accreditation System for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides comes into force on 1 March 2010, Tourist Guide Pass holders who apply for renewal of their Pass, whether they have obtained it through the Waiver Programme or under the Accreditation System, will all be issued with a one-year Pass if they satisfy the requirements. They, however, need not take part in the Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Tourist Guides.