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The Silk Road is a great example of uninterrupted trade, cultural and religious tolerance and harmonic communication and co-operation between different cultures.
Today we talk about “the” Silk Road.
The ancient reality though was of a network of roads or routes crisscrossing over 50,000 kilometres of the world. Over land and over sea, these routes stretched from modern day Xi’an in China, to Spain, to South-East Asia and the west coast of Africa. And trade wasn’t just about silk textiles, though silk was probably the most expensive product on the routes. Precious metals and stones, porcelain, spices and perfumes, glass, wine, horses and even ideas and religions such as Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity were relayed from caravanserai to caravanserai and from trade city to trade city.
In a small recognition of the importance of these routes for the whole world a small part, the Chang’an-Tian-Sian Silk Road Corridor, has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fame of the silk road and the UNESCO recognition fires people’s interest in travelling, seeing, and experiencing these routes and increases tourism opportunities.
Tourist guides, being the ambassadors of their country or destination, are in a unique position to enhance the experiences visitors seek. They are trained and knowledgeable. They are the interpreters and facilitators for visitors to understand their destination. They can create memories and promote their own culture, history and even culinary traditions. This means tourist guides are by definition the best promoters of tourist destinations including the Silk Routes.
The European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) understands all these important contributions and the influence tourist guides can have in promoting tourist destinations.
For this reason the FEG accredited trainers and certified tourist guides Maria Joao Moreira, Wika Trel and Themis Chalvantzi-Stringer designed the Western Silk Road online training course, to specifically promote the Western Silk Routes.
The FEG ExCo president, Efi Kalamboukidou, presented the online training course, at the TOURMAN 2021 International Tourism Conference organised by the International Hellenic University in May this year. The presentation attracted positive comments and interest from the conference participants. It was seen as a prime example of proactive training and an imaginative promotion of many sustainable tourism destinations across Europe.
The Western Silk Routes are not as well known as the Asian ones, they are, however, equally impressive and important. The online learning offered for tourist guides by FEG covers the whole area, from Portugal and Spain in the west, to Armenia and Turkey in the east. And from Sweden in the north to Greece, Cyprus and Sicily in the South.
It offers tourist guides interested in the subject the opportunity to explore a new guiding theme and add to their existing portfolio of guided tours.
The course is open to any tourist guide - member of FEG associations, for a discounted fee.
For more information on the course go to Western Silk Road Experience.