Fast Facts about the CTPA
Click here to download an Adobe (.pdf) two-page CTPA FACT SHEET, an easy-to-print summary of information about our organization. It includes the information found on this and other pages of our website.
To promote and maintain high standards of proficiency, excellence and integrity within the tour guiding profession.
June 29th, 1990
February 1991 as a Not-For-Profit Corporation
Membership is open to tour guides, individuals who would like to become tour guides, destination management company owners and principals, event planners, transportation companies, others serving the tour industry or individuals who are interested in sharing information about and promoting tourism in the metro Chicago area. Members regularly work with convention groups and visitors to the city, providing meet and greet assistance at the airport, conducting general city highlight tours as well as specialized tours for business, educational or entertainment purposes. Many CTPA guides have special abilities such as fluency in a foreign language or advanced training in areas such as music, the arts, architecture, history, technology or business. To find out more, visit our membership page.
Membership Breakdown By Category:
|Current #'s||Member Category||Description||Type of Entity||Works In Tourism||Votes?|
|44||Certified Guide||Experienced guides who have passed the CTPA certification test||Individual||Yes||Yes|
|119||Candidate Guide||Guides who have not taken the test or may take it when eligible||Individual||Yes||Yes|
|18||Friend||Individuals who do not seek employment in tourism||Individual||Does not seek work or retired||No|
|39||Associate||DMC's, event planners, venues, shops, transportation & hospitality companies||Organization - uses/hires guides||Yes||No|
|2||Honorary||Recognized for their support of the CTPA and/or guides||Individual or Organizational||Yes or No||No|
- Dues are assessed for a calendar year. "Early Bird" fees must be postmarked by Dec 31th.
- Fees are used to produce and distribute the Membership Directory, Newsletter and Meeting Announcement mailings and cover other expenses of the organization as needed.
|EARLY BIRD must be
POSTMARKED before DEC 31
(January 1 - June 30)
|Half Year Rate
(July 1 - December 15)
|$40 - Early Bird Individual Member||$50 - Individual Member||$25 - Individual Member|
|$75 - Early Bird Joint Member
(2 Individuals/same location)
|$95 - Joint Member
(2 Individuals/same location)
|$45 - Joint Member
(2 Individuals/same location)
|$55 - Early Bird
Company (Associate) Member
|$65 - Company
|$32.50 - Company
Note: A $10 NON-GREEN supplement fee is payable if you would like meeting announcements, minutes and write-ups mailed.
Associate members (outside the U.S.) - $100
Other Fees: Name Badges (Optional) - $15/badge Note: Badges are only ordered in February!
- Annual Directory of Members compiled in early February, includes a short self-written biography about one's education, training, abilities and/or availability. The Directory also includes a list of guides with foreign language skills, a summary of the history of the CTPA and information on the organization's professional affiliations (NFTGA-USA and WFTGA).
- Newsletter and Meeting Announcement Mailings (as needed throughout the year).
- Participation in Meetings, Optional Educational Programs, Spotlight Events and "Show Us Your Neighborhood" tours.
- Inclusion on Mailing Lists / Special Privileges and Invitations. Adler Planetarium, Sears Tower Skydeck, John Hancock Observatory, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium and others have invited the membership to enjoy special invitations and privileges.
- Eligibility to take the CTPA Certification Test. This mastery test may be taken after a year of guiding experience. Upon successful completion, the individual is a "Certified Tour Guide."
- Representation in the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations-USA (NFTGA) www.nftga.com & the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) www.wftga.org
Officers are elected are may serve multiple terms.
|President||Donna Primas||Phone: (630) firstname.lastname@example.org||Fax: (630) 717-9055|
|Vice President||Sharon Sylvester||Phone: (708) email@example.com|
|Co-Secretaries||Gina V. Driskell
Committee Members are appointed by the President and serve for one year. Committee Chairs serve for two years and are members of the Board of Directors. The CTPA President is an ad-hoc member of all committees.
Active committees: Education, Certification, Membership, and (in an election year) Nomination.
Meetings & Events:
- Meetings (with a business component) and Spotlight Events (social affairs) take place 6 to 10 times per year and have an educational focus. In general, meetings are held at venues around town to expose the membership to new locales, renovated facilities and special exhibits and seasonal opportunities.
- Meetings are generally scheduled early in the week (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesdays) at or after 5:30 p.m. (to allow the membership to finish a 9-to-5 job and get to the meeting location.)
- Many locations that host meetings also furnish refreshments - coffee/cookies, soda/chips, wine/cheese, etc.
Click to view the 2012 Meetings, Events, Tours and Special Invitations
|Monday, January 9:||CTPA Certified Tour Guide Part III Routing Test (given by appointment)|
|Monday, January 9:||Quarterly Meeting at Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant, featuring author Donald J. Terras presenting information from his book, "Lighthouses of Chicago Harbor".|
|Wednesday, January 25:||Complimentary Field Museum entrance to "Blood/Stones: Burmese Rubies" and to see a special display of a Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel.|
|January 20-24:||NFTGA Conference in San Francisco, CA.|
|February 21 (each year):||International Tourist Guide Day, an annual event sponsored by the World Federation of Tourist Guides Assn. (WFTGA).|
|Friday, February 10:||Complimentary entrance and museum highlights tour of the new National Hellenic Museum.|
|Friday, February 10:||CTPA Board Meeting|
|Thursday, February 16:||Complimentary entrance and highlights tour of the new Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC), hosted by Bruce Dumont, Founder, President and CEO of the MBC.|
|Wednesday, February 22:||Informal gathering to meet a tour-guide from Rome, Italy, visiting Chicago.|
|Wednesday, February 29:||Complimentary entrance to the new special exhibit "Genghis Khan" at the Field Museum|
|Tuesday, March 6:||Quarterly Meeting at Lawry's Restaurant. Directory Distribution and a presentation about "Secret Spaces atop Chicago" by author Tony Macaluso.|
|Wednesday, March 7:||Complimentary behind the scenes tour of Symphony Center.|
|Friday, March 13:||Complimentary highlights tour and Sky Show at the Adler Planetarium.|
|Friday, March 30:||First ever Movie Night, screening the documentary "Louis Sullivan: the Struggle for American Architecture"|
|Wednesday, April 25:||Complimentary admission and Highlights tour of the DuSable Museum of African American History|
|Wednesday, June 13:||Quarterly Meeting at Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant. Donna Marie Primas CTG presented "1920s Chicago: Gangsters and All That Jazz."|
|Monday, July 23:||Study Session for the Certified Tour Guide Test - Part I Written Test|
|Monday, August 20:||Study Session for the Certified Tour Guide Test - Part I Written Test|
|Monday, September 10 &
Monday, September 17:
|Certified Tour Guide Written Test Part I (Given at downtown and suburban locations by appointment).|
|Tuesday, September 25:||Chicago Jeopardy! including potluck refreshments and a book swap, hosted by Dennis McClendon CTG|
|Monday, October 1:||Study session for the Certified Tour Guide Test - Part II: The Slide Test.|
|Wednesday, October 10:||Quarterly Meeting at Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant. Author Gillum Ferguson speaks about his book, Illinois in the War of 1812.|
|Wednesday, October 17:||The Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum annual reception|
|Monday, October 22:||Complimentary entrance to the new special exhibit "Maharaja: the Splendor of India's Royal Courts" at the Field Museum|
|Monday, October 22:||Study session for the Certified Tour Guide Test - Part II: The Slide Test.|
|Monday, November 12:||Part II: The Slide Test given. (Given by appointment, one date each year.)|
Click to hide the 2011 Meetings, Events, Tours and Special Invitations
The CTPA Certification Test was developed to be a mastery test - not a qualifications test. To be eligible to take the test, the applicant must be a CTPA member and have worked as a guide for at least one year. Passing the test requires accurate knowledge of Chicago history, geography, transportation, museums, cultural attractions, landmark buildings, sculpture, neighborhoods and venues of interest to visitors - the information given on a 3 or 4-hour comprehensive Chicago City Highlights Tour. The CTPA Certification Test has 3 parts. The parts must be taken in order and a pass grade achieved to advance. The test parts are: written test, oral/slide identification and vehicle routing.