Tour Guide Certification Rules & Regulations
Section 3201. Purpose of Regulations.
Pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 23-136 the Guam Visitors Bureau ('GVB') is required to adopt rules, codes of conduct, and regulations establishing a due process procedure within the GVB for tour guide accreditation and enforcement of standards of conduct and professionalism of tour guides and tour operator businesses.
Section 3202. Scope of Procedures.
These procedures shall govern actions taken by GVB or by agents or other entities acting on behalf of GVB (collectively referred to as "GVB" unless the context requires otherwise) in certifying, accrediting, and enforcing of standards of conduct as established by GVB for tour guides and tour businesses. These procedures shall govern the administration of Section 3201 necessary for the accreditation of tour guides.
Section 3203. Definitions.
For the purpose of this section, and unless required by context, the following terms shall have the following definitions:
- "GVB" means the Guam Visitors Bureau.
- "Person" means an individual, trust, an estate, a partnership, an association, a company, or a corporation.
- "Day" means a calendar day.
- "Tour Operator" means any person or entity which may either be a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation regularly engaged in business of extending to individuals or groups, such services that pertain to arrangements and booking for transportation and / or accommodations, handling and / or conduct of inbound and optional tours whether or not for a fee, commission, or any form of compensation.
- "Tour Guide" shall mean any individual who for a fee, commission, or any form of lawful remuneration undertakes to guide, direct, lead or conduct tours and while undertaking such duties explains to or informs tourists of the history and culture; directs tourists to scenic, cultural or historic sites; or conduct shopping tours on Guam.
- "Accredited" means any individual that has satisfied all GVB requirements to engage in business as a guide and has been issued a tour guide badge by GVB.
- "On Duty" means an accredited tour guide that is in the process of guiding an individual or group of tourists or visitors or performing duties as directed by the tour operator.
- "Tourist" any visitor or group visiting Guam for pleasure or business.
- "Land Transport Operator" a person or entity which may either be a single proprietorship or corporation, regularly engaged in providing transportation services for tourist on charter or regular run for a fee or lawful consideration.
- "Tour Guide Badge" a badge provided by GVB to an accredited tour guide for purposes of identification and certification.
- "Independent" any individual, or entity having contractual relationship with a tour operator or land transport operator.
Section 3204. Certification of Eligibility for Independent Tour Guides & Independent Tour Operators.
All persons engaging in business as an independent tour guide and / or independent tour operator must obtain certificate of accreditation issued by GVB to be submitted with the application or renewal of a business license to the Department of Revenue & Taxation. Independent tour guides must comply with all requirements promulgated in Section 3205.
Section 3205. The Tour Guide Badge.
- A non-transferable tour guide badge ("badge") shall be issued to an applicant who has successfully completed the required training and testing for certification and has met all documentation requirements of the GVB. This badge is valid only for one calendar year or as determined by GVB.
- A provisional badge is not to exceed seven (7) working days and shall be issued to companies to handle special groups such as cruise ship passengers or chartered air passengers. Any GVB certified tour company applying for a provisional badge shall substantiate the unavailability of certified tour guides by submitting written justification for its request and provide a list of names to which provisional badges will be issued. Provisional badges will be issue to the tour company on a case by case basis and as determined by GVB. Provisional badges may not be issued to an individual more than three (3) times during the same calendar year without prior approval of GVB.
Section 3206. Requirements for Tour Guides
- An applicant for accreditation as tour guide shall submit the following:
- Proof that the applicant has attended and successfully completed and passed such courses of training and such tests of proficiency duly conducted by GVB or other agencies duly authorized by GVB to conduct seminars or classes.
- In the case of alien applicants, show proof of a valid working visa;
- Such other documents that GVB may require from time to time.
- An accredited tour guide must be issued a valid non-transferable tour guide badge by GVB before he or she can conduct tours. The tour guide shall at all times conspicuously display the tour guide badge on his or her person while on duty.
- An accredited tour guide, while under the full time employ of a land transport operator or tour operator at the time of application or renewal of a tour guide badge, must provide to GVB proof of employment. When the tour guide terminates employment or ceases to perform functions of a tour guide, the employee shall surrender to their employer the tour guide badge. The employer shall return it to GB within fifteen (15) days of occurrence.
Section 3207. Official Tour Guide Badge
A certification badge shall be issued indicating therein, the language (s) which the individual is certified to communicate in as a tour guide.
Section 3208. Condition of Issuance
Applicant shall be required to pass such tests of proficiency conducted by the GVB. Persons who fail the proficiency test shall be required to retake training course.
Section 3209. Fee.
Fees established by the GVB shall be payable at the time of application and issuance of a tour guide badge. Fees for applications, temporary badges, tour guide badges, provisional badges and renewals thereof, shall be determined by GVB.
Section 3210. Denial.
The GVB shall notify an applicant by mail specifying the reason for its refusal. The applicant in writing may, within twenty (20) days of the date of receipt of such notice, appeal to GVB or its designated review panel.
Section 3211. Term / Renewal Application
A tour guide accreditation shall be in force from the date of issuance for three (3) years unless previously revoked or suspended. In no event shall a new examination be required until (3) years have elapsed from the date of certification issuance. Upon application for renewal of the tour guide refresher course before the badge is renewed.
Section 3212. Grounds for Cancellation of Accreditation
Any of the following acts or omissions shall be sufficient ground for demanding surrender of the tour guide badge and for the cancellation of accreditation:
- Failure to maintain the standards and requirements for accreditation prescribed under this rules;
- Making any false declaration or statement or using such declaration or statement or any document containing the same, or committing fraud or any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining or granting accreditation;
- Promoting, facilitating, or conducting activities constituting touting or prostitution;
- Receiving or soliciting any remuneration from any person or entity unless specifically authorized by the tour operator they are employed with or hired by;
- Conducting any tour in any language except in the language(s) which the tour guide has been approved by GVB.
- Any other act or omission that works against the interest of the island's travel and visitor industry.
Section 3213. Compliance to Rules.
A certified tour guide shall comply with all the conditions set out in the Rules and Regulations for Tour Guides and Rules of Conduct for Tour Guides.
A citation will be issued to a tour guide or tour operator who is found in violation of any of the Rules and Regulations.
Section 3214. Violations.
GVB may refuse to renew or may recommend the revocation or suspension of the certification of any tour operator or accreditation of a tour guide for a period not to exceed one (1) year for violation of any the promulgated tour operator or tour guide Rules and Regulations or Standards of Conduct. Eligibility for re-application, or in the case of a failure to renew, will not occur until a year has elapsed from the date of revocation or suspension or as determined by the GVB:
- Misrepresentation by attempts of false certification by any person or entity which may either be a single proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) for the first offense, and the fines for subsequent offenses shall be not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) nor greater than Ten Thousand ($10,000.00).
- Any person or entity which ,ay either be a single proprietorship, partnership or corporation, who knowingly employs a tour guide who is not properly accredited, shall be punishable by a fine of no less than One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00) no more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) for the first offense, and the fines for subsequent offense shall be not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) no more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).
- An accredited tour guide and/or certified tour operator who have complaint(s) about their unprofessional conduct or actions received by GVB will be investigated. If, through GVB's investigation, determines that the complaint to be true and justified, GVB may suspend or revoke his or her certification and/or accreditation. GVB, in writing, will notify the Department of Revenue and Taxation of GVB's action for the revocation or suspension of their business license, as applicable.
- A violation of the laws or regulations of Guam or the United States shall be construed to be a violation of the Rules and Regulations.
Section 3215. Notice of Intention.
Before recommending the revocation or suspension of any certification or accreditation GVB shall give, in writing, its intention to revoke or suspend. The notice shall specify a date, not less than thirty (30) days after the date of the notice, a time, and location of hearing at which the person concerned may show cause, to the review panel or Board of Directors of the GVB, why his certification should not be revoked or suspended.
Section 3216. Notice of Action.
GVB shall notify the person or entity concerned by written notice of the revocation or suspension. A copy of the notice of action shall be forwarded to the Department of Revenue and Taxation, Government of Guam.
Section 3217. Revoked Certification or Accreditation
Where a certification and/or accreditation has been revoked or suspended the person or tour operator concerned shall, within ten (10) days after notification, return the official badge to the GVB.
Section 3218. Employer's Responsibilities
No person shall employ any individual to act as a tour guide who is not accredited and the holder of an official tour guide badge. On a form provided, employers are required to provide GVB with a listing of all tour guides under its employ on a quarterly basis.
Section 3219. Authorized Agents
All notices of violations may be issued by any person duly authorized by GVB. A duly authorized person shall enforce all the tour guides Rules and Regulations and issue notices of violation to tour guides or tour operators committing such violations.
Section 3220. Authorized Agents
Every notice to be given or served on any person or entity:
- Shall be in writing and shall be dispatched to the person by any reasonable manner including, but not limited to, first class, certified, or registered mail or by personal delivery or service.
- GVB shall be deemed to have made a reasonable attempt to notify the person if it uses the most recent address information provided on the application for certification or accreditation.
- The notice shall be in conformance with the Administrative Adjudication Act and shall inform the person:
- That GVB intends to refer the person's license or certification to the Department of Revenue and Taxation for revocation or suspension;
- That the person shall within fifteen (15) days after the date of notice file with GVB a notice of defense in which he may request a hearing. The hearing shall be in conformance with the Administrative Adjudication Act;
- That such notice or defense and request for hearing must be in writing and must be received by GVB no later than fifteen (15) days after the date of notice;
- That GVB will consider any evidence presented by such person before it makes a decision whether to refer the person's license or certification to the Department of Revenue & Taxation for revocation or suspension;
- That if the person desires to discuss such evidence in person or by telephone at a hearing to be conducted by GVB, such request must be received in writing by GVB no later than (15) days after the date of notice; and
- That if the person does not submit any evidence in writing to GVB within fifteen (15) days after the date of notice, GVB will make a decision whether the license or certification shall be referred to the Department of Revenue & Taxation for revocation or suspension.
Section 3221. Rules of Conduct For Tour Guides.
Section 3222. Severability
If any part of these regulations is for any reason declared to be invalid by a court of law, the remaining regulations under this Chapter shall not be affected thereby, and shall remain valid and enforceable.