On March 16th, 2016, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment of Ecuador has signed an agreement in which they explain the regulation of tourism guides in the continental part of Ecuador.
Tourism guides in Ecuador are classified in 4 categories:
- Local Guide
- National Guide
- National Guide Specialized in Touristic Patrimony and Adventure
The local guide is a person that has the knowledge and experience to give detailed information to visitors about the touristic-natural/cultural value of sites designed for that specific use. He/she can not guide inside the protected areas of the National System of Protected Areas of Ecuador. They cannot do the work of a National Guide except for those ancestral communities that live in those areas for centuries in which case they can act as a National Guides just in the mentioned areas.
The National Guide of Tourism is the person that has obtained a professional title in a technical superior level of a Superior Institution legally recognized. He/She is in charge of manage one or several visitors to show, orientate and interpret the National Touristic Patrimony. They always have to bring their credential while guiding.
Specialized National Guide
The Specialized National Guide is the person who has the knowledge and dominance in a specific activity according to the competences that define each activity. The person has to have a professional title in a technical superior level of a Superior Institution legally recognized. He/She can then obtained one of the following approved specializations once they have passed the training course:
- Specialization in Touristic Patrimony which can be natural or cultural incluing the National System of Protected Areas.
- Specialization in Adventure which includes diving, mountain, rafting, kayak, Canyoning, Climbing, and Paragliding.
The Tour Leader is a person hired by a Travel Agency that accompany a group of visitors, manage and supervise the hired itinerary by the clients in representation of the Travel Agency in order to guarantee the quality of the hired services and help the members of the group.