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Professionalism Key Criterion in Hiring Polar Guides

Photo: Expedition Guide Academy

It is not hard to find people wanting to work as expedition guides, but there is a lack of those wanting a career in it.

This was conveyed by the President of Polar Tourism Guides Association (PTGA) Graham Charles and the Co-founder of Expedition Guide Academy Ben Jackson, according to 2021 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

“If you're a company that’s just looking to fill out staff requirements, there's always enough people who will step into these jobs and work for hardly anything in terrible conditions because they want to tick a bucket list item of going to Antarctica or some other exotic place,” said Charles. “But as the specific qualification requirements get more and more stringent, companies are realizing that people who fill all of the roles required are a lot scarcer.”

Charles’ PTGA came up with the only guide qualification system tailored specifically to expedition guides in polar environments.

“Are there other systems to use? Yes. But are there other systems that are completely dedicated to the polar tourism and expedition cruise industry? The answer is no,” he said.

Both Charles and Jackson highlighted the trend toward professionalism and guides that want to get into the industry for the long haul.

“We're starting to talk more and more with operations managers who are aware that their expedition staff hasn't been in the field for more than a year and so are probably not as current as they need to be,” Jackson said.

“Once the industry looks like it's going to get back up and running, we'll join these operators on the ships and run bespoke training for them to get their staff and crew up and running,” he added.

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