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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

FREE Tour Guide Training to boost inland tourism within Mid and East Antrim

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has launched a free training programme to enable locals from the Ballymena region to become qualified tour guides in a drive to boost visitors to the area.

The Council has teamed up with Northern Regional College to deliver the programme for residents of Ballymena, Broughshane, Gracehill, Galgorm, Cullybackey, Kells & Connor, Ahoghilland Portglenone to become qualified Level 2 tour guides.

The OCN NI Level 2 Award in Tour Guiding (QCF) qualification has been designed to provide the learner with skills in the travel and tourism industry, enabling them to develop a commentary and lead groups on a guided tour.

The training course will run for eight morning sessions commencing Monday 23 January in The Braid Museum & Arts Centre in Ballymena, finishing on Monday 20 March 2023.

The assessment method is a learner portfolio which is completed and submitted to cover threelearning outcomes: understanding the role of the tour guide in the travel and tourism industry; the ability to produce a short tour commentary, and understanding the health and safety implications of tour guiding.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Alderman Noel Williams said:

“The fact that local people can now become qualified guides bolsters our commitment to create authentic tourism experiences here in Mid and East Antrim and goes hand in hand with wider plans to market our Borough’s compelling tourism proposition to the world.”

Carrickfergus man Adrian Hack, who took part in this course back in 2018 said:

“This was the first time that I fully understood the importance of structure, content, engagement strategies, storytelling and the use of appropriate props when tour guiding. I learnt a lot from the course content, but also from sharing experiences with other students.”


Adrian took early retirement back in 2018 and decided to take part in a new ‘Introduction to tour guiding’ course, which was being organised by a community group in Carrickfergus.


“Since completing Level 2 training, I now offer a unique walking experience, Lead the Way Tours,which takes guests back to the Second World War period. I guide visitors with photographs, stories, contemporary artefacts, and visits to key locations to look back at this tumultuous time.


“If you’ve your own interesting story to tell about an area which is important to you, give this course a go! It’s fun, practical and teaches younew skills, I would definitely encourage others to sign up.”


To apply for this programme, please email for a form.

Places are limited and the deadline for return of completed applications is 9am on Monday 9 January 2023.  


This programme is funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in partnership with Northern Regional College.


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