ARGOS

10 Things To Know About the Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia

1. What year was the Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia established, and where is the headquarters?

The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia, abbreviated ARGOS, was established in 2016, and our headquarters are in Ljubljana. Our logo represents the Slovenian national flower - red carnation which is made of 5 locals signs/ petals.


ARGOS Association Logo, © ARGOS

2. What is the primary mission/goal of the Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia?

Our primary goal is:

  • Take care of the quality of work of tourist guides and to meet the demands of the modern market
  • Promote the role of the tourist guide in the community
  • Protection of the profession of Qualified Regional Guides in Slovenia and the world
  • Collaborating in professional and educational fields at the national and international level to develop and strengthen regional tourism management
  • Continuous professional development of our members
  • Developing a stimulating environment for tourist guides
  • Publicising the work of our members
  • Providing professional assistance and support to members of the association in carrying out their activities

Study tour for members, May 2020 ©ARGOS Archive

3. What is the process to become a qualified tourist guide in Slovenia?

In Slovenia, a tourist guide can hold two types of licence: regional and national.

The national licence is awarded by Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and the regional ones by local authorities.

The procedures to get the licence are also different:

For the national licence, there is no training course, you only need to pass the written and the practical exam.

For the regional licence, you need to attend a training course before taking part in the examination process (written and/or practical exams).


Happy guides, happy visitors! ©ARGOS Archive

4. Once qualified, how do tourist guides in Slovenia maintain their qualification? Also, is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Slovenia wear?

The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia - ARGOS is very aware of the continuous professional development of our members. We hold a wide range of different educational and professional programmes in different Slovenian regions every year.

Every region has it own official badge and you can check some of them in Feg page: https://www.feg-touristguides.com/ids.php#17.


Hiking tour in Slovenia Istria with licenced local guide ©ARGOS Archive

5. How many qualified tourist guides are members of The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia - ARGOS and tell us about their diverse backgrounds?

The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia - ARGOS has a membership of around 100 tourist guides. Our members come from different backgrounds but as they are all locals they possess a wide range of local knowledge. They can offer a first-hand experience of Slovenian history, culture and everyday life in more than 15 languages all over Slovenia. Some of them also offer specialised tours ( e.g. gastronomy, wine, cycling tours) and they are also very keen on showing our visitors’ hidden treasures, off the beaten path sites and charming small villages.


Exploring Ljubljana on a walking tour ©ARGOS Archive

6. What are some of the professional development classes offered to members of The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia - ARGOS?

The Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia organizes and delivers: specialised tours based on most important tourist sites and local experiences of that region, webinars on a wide range of topics:

In the year 2020, we offered:

LIVE WORKSHOPS - in January and February

  1. Tourist guiding my business opportunity?
  2. Communication skills for tourist guides
  3. Tourist Guiding Techniques- site
  4. Tourist Guiding Techniques- bus
  5. Tourist Guiding Techniques – walking tour
  6. My voice- my treasure, let us play with it.

ZOOM-INARS every Tuesday- a kind of an »association's night«

Generally we meet every first Tuesday at 6 pm in Ljubljana for “ a coffee” – which is organized by the Ljubljana tourist guide section, the biggest section. Topics for September, October and beyond are:

  1. The role of Tourist Guides, Code of Conduct
  2. Interpretation of Cultural Heritage
  3. Experience mapping
  4. Slovenian Art History overview
  5. Gothic Hall Architecture in Slovenia
  6. Tourist Guide: Where am I and where am I going: SWOT analysis workshop
  7. Communication on Social Media

VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

From April to the end of May, and starting again in October, we have been preparing youtube films in different languages about the treasures from Slovenia:

  • Sunday- Slovenian language
  • Monday – English
  • Tuesday – German
  • Wednesday – Italian
  • Thursday – French
  • Friday – Spanish/Portuguese
  • Saturday- other Slavic languages
  • Other languages: like Mandarin, Dutch usually on Fridays

STUDY TOURS:

We are very active in organizing and carrying out study tours all around Slovenia. Our members very much enjoy these study tours, held by colleagues and other local experts, experiencing different guiding styles, innovative tours, superb local gastronomy and of course also socializing with other colleagues. We did one every month, except when we were in lockdown and travelling was impossible.


Off the beaten path with licenced tourist guides ©ARGOS Archive

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Slovenia?

5 reasons why hiring a Qualified Tourist Guide in Slovenia is a must:

  1. Slovenia regulates tourist guiding as a profession
  2. Qualified Tourist Guides possess the local knowledge which is tested and examined by the relevant authorities
  3. Qualified Tourist Guides have excellent knowledge of local history, cultural heritage and current events
  4. Qualified Tourist Guides connect different local communities: tourism, catering, sports and culture
  5. Qualified Tourist Guides promote local tourism development at various levels

Qualified tourist guides will take you to unspoiled nature ©ARGOS Archive

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Slovenia?

Slovenia offers the modern traveller great possibilities for a wide variety of experiences, for larger groups of visitors as well as for smaller boutique groups and friends.

The top 8 Slovenian destinations are: Bled Lake, Piran and salt pans, Postojna Cave, Lipica, Soča Valley, UNESCO World Heritage sites, Velika planina, Logar Valley and World's Oldest Vine.

Many of our members also prepare and carry out very diverse thematic guided tours, where with their local knowledge they enable you to experience places and people in an authentic way, and get to know traditional cultural habits and customs. They will be happy to introduce you to smaller Slovenian places with a long and interesting history, take you to taste authentic Slovenian dishes and meet friendly locals on their tourist farms and inns, and arrange for you to stay in exclusive accommodation "under the stars" or beautiful nostalgic boutique hotels. Check Slovenia’s regions and find your regional/ local guide here.


Ljubljana, the picturesque Slovenian capital, is always on the bucket list ©ARGOS Archive

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to Slovenia?

If you are planning to visit Slovenia from April to October, to ensure you get the best holiday experience we advise you to book accommodation in your preferred hotels, local guides, restaurants and bus transport as early as possible. Of course we will help you in arrangements for “ last minute holidays” as well but, given the small size of our country, many travel service providers are booked about 1 year in advance, even local guides, especially if they speak one of the foreign languages most required by visitors.

We definitely advise you to stay in a certain region for about 2 days and explore it in detail; some tips for guided tours can be found on our website.

Check what kind of tours our members are offering and book your guide well in advance :) - Slovenian Regional Guides.


ARGOS guides are licenced, professional and dedicated ©ARGOS Archive

10. Where can potential visitors to Slovenia find out more information about the Association of Regional Guides of Slovenia and also find a qualified tourist guide?

Visit our website www.localguides-slovenia.com/en/ and when looking for a qualified guide in Slovenia check https://www.localguides-slovenia.com/en/regional-tourist-guides/.

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Study trips are an excellent way for connecting the guides and acquiring new knowledge ©ARGOS Archive