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Junagadh (Gujarat) [India], February 6: Usha Breco Foundation, the CSR arm of Usha Breco, the pioneer of passenger ropeways in India, organised a tourist guide training programme in Junagadh in association with the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat and the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Junagadh.

Organised from February 1 to 3, the training programme was aimed at generating employment at the local level by up-skilling the local tourist guides and equipping them with better information and knowledge and improved soft skills.

“The idea was to ensure local guides can explain the rich history, culture and heritage of Junagadh in an interesting way to tourists through storytelling and ensure tourists return home with a great tourist experience and happy memories,” said Deepak Kaplish, assistant vice president of Usha Breco.

“Junagadh is considered the tourism capital of Gujarat. The number of tourists has gone up, especially since the commencement of the Girnar ropeway in October 2020. The government of Gujarat is keen to promote tourism and has undertaken several initiatives for the same. We too want to be a partner and contribute to the growth of tourism. The tourist guide training programme is a small step in that direction,” said Mr. Kaplish further, adding the foundation also plans to conduct similar training programmes in other tourist destinations and generate employment opportunities for the community around its ropeway projects.

The tourist guide training programme will go a long way in improving the tourist experience and help in placing Junagadh on the global tourism map. Usha Breco, the largest ropeway company in India, has invested Rs. 130 crores in setting up a world-class and one of the longest ropeways in the country in Girnar, as a part of its efforts to give a boost to tourism in the area.

Thirty-five local tourist guides were trained by former official of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Kirti Thakar, range forest officer (south range) of Junagadh Arvind Bhaliya, professor and historian Vishal Joshi, Shefali Awasthi of Junagadh Museum, senior tourist guide Navjot Vyas, senior life skill trainer Himendra Purohit, Samarth Inamdar of archaeology department, and Prof Chauhan of Narsinh Mehta University.

Research scientist and avid traveller Dr. John Wainer from Melbourne also shared his experiences on Girnar and other monuments of Junagadh with the participants.

Sub-divisional magistrate Bhoomi Keshwala and District Youth Development Officer ND Wala gave training certificates to the participants.

The guides were also taken to various tourist places in Junagadh for practical training. Popular folk singer Kirtidan Gadhvi paid a surprise visit to the guides during the programme.

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