The very first Blue Badge Guides in Northern Ireland qualified in 1992, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association was set up shortly after in the same year. The early training was facilitated by Queen’s University Belfast, and the course was accredited by the then Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The late Shona Kendrick (nee Blair) was instrumental in bringing the prestigious guiding qualification to Northern Ireland for the first time and was the Course Director 1991-1992.

In 2002, there was a strategic decision taken by government to set up an independent Institute to accredit the prestigious Blue Badge and the Institute of Tourist Guiding was born: http://www.itg.org.uk/. At that time the Scottish and Welsh Tourist Board opted to stay involved in guide training, and after a process of negotiation to ensure that the training for the Blue Badge was of a comparable standard, both set up their own Blue Badge Training. Guides in Northern Ireland, England, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands became accredited via the Institute of Tourist Guiding.

The Blue Badge Course has been delivered serval times since the early nineties. In 2016-2017 NITGA for the first time in its history delivered the qualification and 36 new Blue Badge Guides qualified.

Irish National and Regional Badge training was delivered by Fáilte Ireland until 2015 and by Regional Colleges since.

NITGA became a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2018. Company Registration Number is NI652499.

NITGA is a member of the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA).

Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association