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Created Date:

18 Aug 2021

[CDU] Backing Central Australia’s tour operators

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is partnering with the Northern Territory Government to deliver a new course to attract and retain tour guides to the Northern Territory. 

The new Tour Guide Ready Course, a $60,000 investment from the government, will assist the Central Australian tourism industry to train and develop job-ready tour guides.

The course fees are heavily subsidised for eligible students and relocation assistance is available at the end of the course. 

Ten participants will join the July intake for the five-week vocational training program, with a second intake of 10 places available in August 2021.

The program will involve face-to-face learning in the classroom, with practical assessments as well as field excursions to Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, West McDonnell Ranges and Alice Springs tourism venues.

Parks Australia has made training mandatory for commercial guides that covers visitor safety, understanding the park's natural and cultural values, history, minimising environmental impacts, and legal compliance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the tourism industry. Tour operators are under immense financial pressure and unable to fund previous in-house training models and are seeking solutions to employ trained staff.

The first intake is expected to attract Alice Springs residents, with the second intake targeting guides from interstate.

To learn more about tourism courses and training packages at CDU, visit

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