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Beginning of the association

Tartu Guides Association (TGÜ) was founded by 18 Tartu guides on March 28, 1994. The association was registered on October 31 of the same year. Lea Asso, Aldo Kask, Reet Mägi (Chairman of the Board), Siiri Raitar and Malle Rebane were elected to the first Board.

The foundation of Estonian Guides Association in Nelijärvi gave a boost to the establishment of our association. The foreign relations department of Tartu City Government had just organised the certification of Tartu tour guides for the first time, and it was the city government that forwarded the invitation from guides in Tallinn to us to the establishment of Estonian Guides Association. We found out that guide associations were also active in Virumaa and Hiiumaa in addition to Tallinn at that time.

The foreign relations department of Tartu City Government continued to support the activities of the guides after the establishment of TGÜ, and the contribution of Madis Lepajõe, the then head of the department, is especially noteworthy. TGÜ took over the certification process of guides from the city, whereas the city government contributed to practical organisation of it and recognized our choices. Later, the procedure for certification has changed and is now being organised by Tartu City Government itself, but the requirements debated at the time have remained largely the same.

In addition to ensuring the professional level of new Tartu guides, we started to put more energy into the professional development of the members of TGÜ. The association was a good platform to learn from each other, for example, Siiri Raitar's high standards are fondly remembered. Great co-operation was established with Tartu City Museum and its then director Heivi Pullerits. Even today, her quote from the invitation to the city museum sent to us in 1996 is valid: "You and we both want all the visitors of the city to have the best impression of Tartu".