NFTGA Newsletter

The National Federation of Tour Guide Associations (NFTGA), of which the Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild is a member, has published its first newsletter of 2016, and it’s an entertaining and informative read.

To read the NFTGA newsletter, click here.

This issue has a recap of the January 2016 NFTGA conference in Washington DC, and despite being caught up in a massive snowstorm, it was a worthwhile and interesting conference for attendees. LVTGG members and friends are encouraged to read the newsletter, and if you’re so inclined, consider submitting your stories or comments for future newsletters.

The LVTGG also welcomes its members and friends to submit your stories or useful information for publication on the LVTGG website. Just click here, or visit the “Have I Got a Story for You!” link in the Members Only section of the guild’s website (you must be signed in to the site to access), or email your story to with the heading “Story.”

Thanks and keep on traveling!


NFTGA conference members at the US Capitol, January 2016

InterpNEWS Magazine – Jan 2016 Issue

We would like to make our members aware of the International Heritage Interpretation Training Center & Magazine. Many LVTGG Members will find this interpretive organization and their publication interesting and worthwhile of your time. If you would like to subscribe to their magazine, see the instructions immediately below. All the following information is from them, and any requests for information about them or their programs should be directed to them and not the LVTGG:


InterpNEWS (IN), the International Heritage Interpretation e-Magazine is published online and via email six times a year. IN is the most widely read of any interpretive publication, reaching over 155,000 interpreters, agencies and organizations in 38 countries.  IN is sent FREE as a service to the interpretive profession.  Check it out here:  If you would like to receive each issue as it’s published, just send your e-mail address to:  Also, they are always looking for articles on creative interpretive programs and services or interpretive research projects.


The Jan/Feb 2016 issue has just been published and you can read or download it here, or read it and past issues online at or

In This Issue:                                                                                                                                 

Experience and Outcome Based Interpretive Planning – Mass Customization,

Markets of One and more.. John Veverka

– Interpretive Tip: A Road Trip with a Junior Ranger J. Patrick Barry                                   

Avoid The Awkward Close Speaking Tip 104 – Ethan Rotman                                                                            

Interpretive Training Course in Nada, Lithuania with Focus on the Curonian Spit –

  Trans-boundary World Heritage Site, Lithuania.  J. Veverka                                                               

“Let’s Celebrate Robert Burns Birthday” Dr. Martha Benn Macdonald                                             

Guides Association of New York City.                                                                                              

– Interpretation in Malta – Bringing 7000 years of history to life. J. Veverka                                                     

 – From historians to artists, Oakland County Parks discovers talents of its

    1,000+ volunteers. Julee Erskine,                                                                                         

Volunteerability at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, UK  Trizia Wells                              


NEW – This current issue and past 2015 Issues of InterpNEWS are now available to be read on-line at:




The Heritage Interpretation Training Center currently has several course openings due to participants completing each course. These include:

Planning/Designing Interpretive Panels e-LIVE Course – 10 Units awarding 1.5 CEU Credits $125.00

Interpretive Writing e-LIVE Course – 8 Units and 2 CEU Credits $200.00

Training for Interpretive Trainers e-LIVE Course – 11 Units and 2 CEU Credits. $200.00 

The Interpretive Exhibit Planners Tool Box e-LIVE course – 11 Units and 2 CEU Credits. $200.00

Interpretive Master Planning – e-LIVE. 13 Units, 3 CEU Credits. $275.00


Our Course Catalog for our current 17 interpretive courses:

For details on each e-LIVE course and course content you can check out the web page for each courses.  Courses can be started at any time and you can complete the course at your own pace.


NEW Courses in the Planning Stage:

We currently have several new courses that we plan to have available by late autumn.  If you have an interest in any these let us know and we will add you to that courses mailing list:

 Developing Interpretive Plans for Historic Homes and Gardens. (Specifically designed for small to medium historic homes/gardens with small staffs and smaller budgets, but who need an interpretive plan for writing grants, related fund-raising and for their long-term development of interpretive programs and experiences).

– An introduction to developing living history characters and personalities & delivery of living history programs/experiences. This course is being developed for the HITC and offered by Rich Pawing of History Alive.

– Interpretive Master Planning for Botanical Gardens. Having done interpretive plans for many botanical gardens, we know some of their challenges and issues, from seasonal interpretation to incorporating art into their garden experiences.  Focusing on one main interpretive theme is always a challenge, but this course helps you provoke, relate and reveal your stories in magical ways that “grow on you”.

– Developing interpretive tours and programs – a guide for museum docents and volunteers. (This is a new course designed especially for docents and volunteers and offered at a greatly reduced tuition as a thank-you for their volunteer services).

These will expand the Heritage Interpretation Training Center course offerings to 21 college level interpretive training courses by November, 2015.  More courses are planned for 2016 as well.

All Heritage Interpretive Training Center courses can also be offered as live workshops/courses presented at your site or for your organization.  Costs: $800.00/day of training plus travel costs.  Ask for details.


Heritage Interpretation Training Center to provide courses for Museum Study LLC

Museum Study – is an organization whose mission is to help staff in small to medium museums and heritage sites build a better cultural institution and be a stronger member of the team that carries out the mission of their institution. To accomplish this, Museum Study provides online professional development training courses on a broad range of topics important to running a cultural institution.

JVA/Heritage Interpretation Training Center is pleased to be working with Museum Study to offer several 4-week long training courses in Heritage Interpretation, the first course being “An Introduction To Heritage Interpretation” that will be presented in November, 2015.  You can learn more about Museum Studies diversity  of Museum Management and Curation courses at their web site:  

HITC interpretive courses planned for 2016 include “Interpretive Writing” and “Planning Truly Interpretive Exhibits”.  Details on the Introduction to Heritage Interpretation course and other courses:


College Credit for Heritage Interpretation Training Center Courses ?

We are currently talking with several universities in the US and in the UK to have some of our courses made available to their heritage studies/interpretation students for actual college credit.

Several of our courses are currently being used by Newcastle University in the UK as part of their distance learning program – a MS in Heritage Management degree program.

More details to come.


New JVA Interpretation Text Books From MuseumsETC.

Our text book set on Interpretive Master Planning has been revised and updated into one new very large book.  If you do interpretive planning or teach interpretation, this is a reference based on actually “doing” interpretive planning and training for 40 years.  Check it out here:

The Interpretive Trails Book – This is our new book on planning and design of interpretive trails and related trail furniture and interpretive media.  Find out more about this book here:  It is based on 40 years of planning/designing self-guiding interpretive trails and related trail interpretive media as part of interpretive master planning projects.  This is used as the main text book for our “Planning/Designing Self-Guiding Interpretive Trails” course:


Would love to chat with you about interpretation

Prof. John Veverka (John)

Director/Interpretive Coach

Heritage Interpretation Training Center

SKYPE: jvainterp


Again, for more information about their organization, see their website at

The link for the Heritage Interpretation Training Center:

The Link for InterpNEWS – the International Heritage Interpretation e-Magazine:

Certified Professional Las Vegas Tour Guide Training


UPDATE: The 2015 CPTG class has ended and was a great success. Congratulations to the 9 guild members who successfully completed the program and have attained their CPTG certification!

If you are interested in taking the training class in the future, please send us a message and we will notify you when the next class is scheduled. Most likely it will be in the spring of 2016.


The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild (LVTGG), a professional association of tour guides and travel companies promoting the integrity of tour guiding in Nevada, invites Las Vegas guides and other interested persons to register for the guild’s Certified Professional Las Vegas Tour Guide (CPTG) training program which will begin March 15, 2015.

The eight session CPTG program provides in-depth focus and training on information and skills relevant to Las Vegas tour guides. Participants receive the valuable added benefit of sessions held in stimulating locations such as the Nevada State Museum Las Vegas, the Mormon Fort, and on-site in Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, as well as a number of special guest speakers and trainers throughout the program.

Most classes will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons, with a few exceptions for holidays and site visits. Classes are beginning Sunday, March 15, and will culminate with a final examination. Those who successfully complete the course will receive certification from the LVTGG as being a “Certified Professional Las Vegas Guide.”

Topics include:

  • Practical Guiding Skills and Information
  • Geology and Flora & Fauna
  • Native Americans, Explorers, Pioneers, and Miners
  • The genesis and evolution of Las Vegas, including:

– The Mormon Fort and Helen Stewart
– Downtown and the Railroad
– Hoover Dam, the military, and the Atomic Age
– The Strip, from its origins to today
– Matrimony, Gaming, the Mob, Corporations, and Mega-Resorts

  • Regional locations and attractions
  • Meet & Greet and Event Protocols
  • And more!

For a limited time the CPTG program is being offered for just $50 for current members of the LVTGG. This special offer is available only through March 1 has been extended! LVTGG membership is a requirement of the training program, and annual LVTGG membership is $40.

Registration and payments can be completed on the guild’s website.

For more information, please visit, or contact the Education Chair, Jerry Perkins, at

The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild is a membership organization of tour professionals and members of the travel and tour industry who live and work in the Las Vegas area. The Guild advocates for the advancement of Las Vegas tour guides and tourism, and provides a liaison between tour guides, employers, and the community. In addition, through training and familiarization visits, the Guild strives to improve the local tour industry and ensure quality service for Las Vegas area visitors.

Google and the Tour Guide

As a member of a tour guild or an association and being on their published membership list has a lot of unforeseen benefits.  The biggest benefit is the extra exposure they offer, and the marketing that comes with the association website.  Another benefit is networking of its membership, and the fact they will be more likely to call you if they can’t do the tour.

However, when you are a small or freelance business owner, you may not be comfortable advertising your personal contact information all over the Internet.  But, that is no longer a problem.

For the solution, I rely on Google and their package of marketing tools.  Tools that are designed for people who want to market on the Internet, while keeping some of their privacy.

Gmail, their popular email tool has been packaged with their Google Voice services.  Which offers you another telephone number with call forwarding, caller ID and voicemail… all for free.  Plus a whole bunch of other benefits that keeps growing by the day, just for the cost of logging on.

Gmail is the default email provider for most of the popular smart phones and comes with almost unlimited storage capabilities.  Gmail is the key to opening up a huge list of other excellent marketing tools offered by Google.

Gmail has quickly become the email address of choice for more freelance and home based business professionals.  It has excellent spam protection along with search and archive tools that keep the inbox organized.

With Gmail, you can easily set it up to forward your email to other addresses’ or have other email addresses sent to your Gmail.  The sender or the recipient doesn’t have to ever know you use Gmail.

My Google Voice number is used for specific marketing I do and is forwarded to my regular cell phone number.  When my phone rings, I see that it is the Google Voice number and I can answer or ignore it.

Ignore it or set it to go straight to voicemail.  Later I will get an email that includes the voicemail plus a text transcript of that voicemail.  It’s not perfect at voice recognition, but it is getting better and I can usually figure out what the message was intended to say.

So if you are one of those looking to market on the Internet, yet want to have a low cost way to keep your privacy, check out Gmail and Google Voice and see if that solves your problem.

Fred Harvey – Appetite for America:

Before there was Xanterra, there was Fred Harvey. The man and the company. You see his name every time you enter the Grand Canyon National Park.  or pass through Siligman, Barstow or many other western towns and National Parks.

What tour guide has ever wondered who this Fred Harvey character really was and why is his name plastered all over the west??  Here is your answer and what an answer it is.

Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West

This is an amazing book, not only about a man so few of us know anything about, but a company that really was responsible for making the western United States civilized for people to live in.

This book is part biography, part business education, part American history;  A definite “Must Read” for any tour professional who works the western united states and the National Parks. You get to see how his company shaped the world we work in and how he created and dominated an industry we belong to.

I found it to be a easy read and one that kept your interest as you watched a young immigrant get off the boat and literally start his career.  How he saw America as a land of infinite opportunities as he turned what others saw as obstacles, into business deals that made him and others very wealthy.

This is a very well researched and well written book about a man and his passion for service and desire to be the best.  You see the birth of the Harvey Houses and why theses wayside stops in the west, staffed with the iconic Harvey Girls were such a success and why he can be credited with making the west civilized as well as populated.  How the processes he developed for delivering excellent service and quality dining to a remote frontier, are the same systems used today by the leading hospitality conglomerates.

After reading this book, you will never look at the Grand Canyon, a Xanterra gift shop, the railroad, or your job as a tour professional, the same ever again.

This book does not belong on your reading shelf, it belongs in your travel bag!