About US

Our History

The very first Blue Badge Guides in Northern Ireland qualified in 1992, and NITGA, the Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association, was founded 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 (ITG) was set up: 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 standardised, 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 several times since the early nineties. In 2016-2017 NITGA delivered the qualification for the first time in its history, and 36 new Blue Badge Guides qualified.

Irish National and Regional Badge training was delivered by Fáilte Ireland until 2015 and is now conducted by Regional Colleges.

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


First Blue Badge Guides qualify in Northern Ireland


Institute of Tourist Guiding set up


NITGA becomes a Company Limited by Guarantee

Meet the Team

NITGA is a membership body with the day to day running of the organisation managed by a voluntary board, elected to serve the needs and aspirations of the members. The board meet monthly and the Association has an Annual General Meeting.

We are a Company Limited by Guarantee.

View our Guides.

Current Board:

Chairperson: Catherine Burns

Secretary: Sue McKay

Membership Secretary: Shirley Gray

Treasurer: Maureen Maginnis

Other Board Members:
Tim Conway
Lynn Corken
Petra Herrmann
Martin McAuley
Paul McIvor
Min Shen
Belfast Cathedral Quarter Tour
Randalstown CPD