Welcome to the CTPA Website

In 1990, the Chicago Tour-Guide Professionals Association (CTPA) was started by a small group of concerned tour guides committed to the highest possible proficiency standards for persons working in tourism in the greater Chicago area.

Welcome to Chicago!

Explore the diverse architecture of Chicago!
(Photo credit: Donna Primas CTG)

A principal goal was to prepare and administer a Certified Tour Guide test. Having successfully completed the three-part test, a newly Certified Tour Guide (CTG) would have a way to demonstrate achievement in the field of Chicago tourism. The founders also believed that potential employers would better value the high level of commitment and proficiency of the CTG designation.

Since its inception the CTPA has expanded its mandate to include the organization of educational and social programs, the coordination of an annual training day, and conducting several business meetings annually. The CTPA Board of Directors, which includes both elected officers and appointed committee chairs, further raise awareness of the profession by networking with local Destination Management Companies (DMCs), with educational and entertainment venues, and with out-of-town meeting planners. On occasion, Chicago guides also participate in International Tour Guide Day, February 21st, an annual worldwide celebration organized by tour guides throughout the world.

Over 210 individuals and organizations are now part of a growing membership. Since 1998, CTPA members have helped form and are actively involved in the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations-USA (NFTGA). This national guide organization includes several city-based guide associations, with about 2,000 members.

The CTPA is also a member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA). In a September 2014 report, the WFTGA noted that they now represent 62 countries and 87 guide associations.

Originating with the conviction that Chicago would soon take its place alongside other great cities, a few dedicated individuals have created an organization of local, national and international influence and distinction. By joining the CTPA you will have the opportunity to be part of a world community of tour guides.

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