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Training-of-Trainers Workshops at National Level


In Phase 2 & 3 of the programme, accredited trainers take the lead in customizing the training material for their own country. They are responsible for Training the Trainers at a national level. Each country will train and certify guides at World Heritage sites, in accordance with the standards of the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Programme.


Siem Reap/Angkor, February 2009

This workshop was organized jointly by UNESCAP and UNESCO in close partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and Authority for Protection and Management of Angkor and Region of Siem Reap (APSARA National Authority).

Participants to the workshop demonstrated an improved understanding of the fundamental principles of tourism management at heritage sites and specialized guiding. In addition, participants gained a deeper understanding of the conservation projects that are undertaken at Ta Prohm site and Angkor Wat site including issues about materials and skills used for the conservation work.

Participants were asked to work together between the site managers and the heritage guides trainers, dividing their focuses on Ta Prohm site and Angkor Wat.

The Ta Prohm group delivered a well-planned proposal for the interpretation and management of visitors at Ta Prohm site, which included recommendations for regulating visitors on-site, guiding visitor flow throughout the site, and providing visitor amenities as required. They also developed a key heritage trail, which focused on the religious and historical aspects of the monument.

The Angkor Wat group focused their proposal on developing a heritage trail, featuring architectural and historical aspects. It would allow visitors to gain an overview of the site experientially.

To read the Workshop Review, please click here.


Designated the lead country for Cultural Heritage Specialist Guides (CHSG) training programme in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in 2006, Lao PDR has since delivered numerous sub-regional workshops and activities for local guides. Lao’s position as regional leader is a part of a wider strategy by the Asian Development Bank to promote pro-poor tourism.

Lao PDR is noted for its achievements in the ecotourism sector. One such example is the country’s Namha project which not only protects the area’s unique bio and cultural diversity but also ensures equitable community benefits and provides an optimal visitor experience. Today, the project serves as a model for best practice and has inspired a number of similar initiatives in other provinces and neighbouring countries.

The CHSG Programme builds on this success. The Lao National Tourism Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Information work in tandem to tailor core units, develop dynamic on-site curriculum and certify guides across the country.

For more information about workshops in Lao PDR, please see below.

Vat Phou, July 2010

Organized in conjunction with the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA), this guide training workshop focused on the World Heritage Site of Vat Phou and associated ancient settlements in the surrounding province of Champasak.

Guides engaged in various class and field activities which provided them with insight into the protection of cultural heritage sites, the contribution of guides and how to involve local communities in site management.

Luang Prabang, March 2010

This training workshop organized by the UNESCO Bangkok regional office in cooperation with the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) and Xieng Khoang Provincial Tourism Department, with support from the Asian Development Bank’s Sustainable Tourism Development Project.

The five day workshop was provided to guides working in Luang Prabang, which was nominated to the World Heritage List in 2010. The workshop aimed to strengthen local capacities to implement sustainable tourism on-site.

Click here for a copy of the workshop programme.

Plain of Jars Site, May 2009

This training workshop was organized by UNESCO Bangkok, in cooperation with the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) and Xieng Khoang Provincial Tourism Department. The workshop was supported by the Asian Development Bank’s Sustainable Tourism Development Project.

Lasting five days, the workshop aimed to strengthen the capacities of guides working at the Plain of Jars site and foster sustainable tourism at this site. Trainers included participants from previous Training of Trainers workshops previously run in Luang Prabang in October 2006 and Champasak in October 2007.

Participants learnt about the cultural significance of the Plain of Jars, the role of the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide (CHSG) Programme and how, as trainers, to implement it. Click here for a copy of the Workshop Programme.

Vat Phou, October 2007

This workshop was organized by the Bangkok offices of UNESCAP and UNESCO in conjunction with the Lao National Tourism Administration (LNTA) under the framework of the Mekong Tourism Development Project (MTDP). The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided additional support for this project. Participants represented the tourism and heritage sectors from Lao PDR.

The training workshop was tailored to the needs of both heritage site managers and heritage guides, addressing the concepts of cultural tourism, World Heritage sites, the role of UNESCO and its importance within the Greater Mekong Sub-region. 

Please click here for a copy of the curriculum.

Viet Nam


Hoi An, July 2007

This workshop was jointly organized by UNESCAP and UNESCO in partnership with the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Hoi An Centre for Monuments Management and Preservation (HACMMP), where the event was held. The primary objective of this workshop was to improve cultural tourism education in Viet Nam.

The World Heritage town of Hoi An in central Viet Nam formed an engaging backdrop to the workshop and allowed for a variety of practical on-site lectures and activities. Twenty educational specialists from tourism and heritage programmes participated in the six day workshop. Participants built upon their existing knowledge of cultural heritage tourism, management and community participation, as well as the role of the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide.

To read the Workshop Agenda please click here.


UNESCO New Delhi launched the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Programme in December 2007, on the theme of Buddhism, with sponsorship from the Ministry of Tourism (India) and under a joint secretariat with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

UNESCO New Delhi has conducted trainings in Delhi, Varanasi, Leh (Ladakh), Patna (Bodhgaya et al) and Aurangaad. A workshop was also conducted in Hampi on the 'Vijaynagara Art, history and Architecture'. The New Delhi office developed an India-specific training handbook on Buddhism on the model of the training materials elaborated by UNESCO Bangkok.

The overall objective of the programme in India is to refresh the skills of those guiding visitors at heritage sites, with special and extended emphasis on specific themes. The programme aims to complement the existing certification courses of the Government of India and offers advanced training. The training was conducted for existing guides as a refreshers course. The guides were contacted through Tourist guides association and through the tourism departments considering both central and state. The trainers were a mix of experts in the thematic areas and practitioners. We had a number of local partnerships in addition to the Ministry of Tourism, namely regional and central Universities, state tourism departments, local NGO partners, guides associations, etc. The Funding of workshops was shared by various resources.

Leh (Ladakh), June 2011

The most recent workshop was held in partnership with the Central Institute for Buddhist Studies (CIBS), Living Stone Dialogue and Nivesh. Ladakh does not yet have an existing certification system even though the rest of the states in India have their own system. Therefore, UNESCO New Delhi office currently in the process of signing a MoU with the CIBS for a three-year period to conduct longer trainings for the guides and to provide them with a certification. There is a huge demand with a growing tourism sector both domestic and international latest. It is needed to focus on Ladakh with respect to sustainable tourism because it might be damaged for the local environment and culture.


George Town, April 2007

A collaborative effort between UNESCO Bangkok, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and the Penang Heritage Trust, this workshop brought together participants from Malaysia’s tourism sector for Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide (CHSG) training. The six day event took place in the historic location of George Town, Penang, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO shortly after this workshop in 2008.

The programme explored the concept of ‘authenticity’, how to interpret and communicate history and cultural heritage and techniques to positively influence tourist behaviour. Modules addressing the history, heritage and protection of Penang took place on-site, as well as hands on lessons in the “dos and don’ts” of responsible guiding in George Town.

Click here to read the Workshop Programme.

Click here to read a Site Module Lecture.

To learn more about upcoming 2011 training workshops click here.



Bangkok, November 2009

Hosted by the UNESCO Bangkok regional office, this comprehensive one day workshop provided participants with an overview of the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide (CHSG) Programme and how it can be applied to practice.

The day was oriented towards developing national standards for CHSG training that reflect UNESCO’s Regional Knowledge and Skills Standards (RKSS) and guests included policymakers and those involved in tourism development.

The agenda featured presentations and strategic planning sessions that gave an overview of the context, addressed policy and future directions. Specifically, the planning meeting addressed the lack of specialist guide training for World Heritage sites in Thailand and strategies to counter this.

Chiang Mai, December 2008

Held in collaboration with the Chiang Mai Guide Association this comprehensive two day workshop provided local guides with an overview of the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide (CHSG) Programme and how it can be applied in the Lamphun province.

The workshop featured a series of lectures on the importance of World Heritage, explored issues unique to Lamphun province, group exercises from the core learning modules around site interpretation, best practice guiding and legal regulations.

Click here to read the Workshop Curriculum.

Bangkok/Ayutthaya, 30 July – 4 August 2007

Organized by the Bangkok offices of UNESCAP and UNESCO, this intensive six day workshop aimed to introduce trainers from China and Thailand to the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide (CHSG) programme and the broader field of Cultural Heritage Management. The workshop was hosted by the UNESCO Bangkok regional office and included field visits to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s former ancient capital.

Participants included representatives from several organizations across Thailand’s tourism sector, as well as two delegates from China. The workshop featured a series of tutorials, presentations from industry experts, site visits and on-site activities to familiarize participants with the principles and practice of the CHSG programme. Together, participants developed plans for national implementation in Thailand and discussed the possibilities for training programmes in Lao PDR and China.

Click here to read the Workshop Curriculum.