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Title: Case study on tour guiding : professionalism, issues and problems
Authors: Ap, J
Wong, K
Keywords: Tour guiding
Tour guide association
Hong Kong
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Tourism management, 2001, v. 22, no. 5, p. 551-563 How to cite?
Journal: Tourism management 
Abstract: Tour guides are one of the key front-line players in the tourism industry. Through their knowledge and interpretation of a destination's attractions and culture, and their communication and service skills, they have the ability to transform the tourists' visit from a tour into an experience. The role and duties may not be that glamorous as the profession, in many countries, lacks a well-defined career path and their incomes are reliant on a variety of income sources. Service professionalism has become an important issue as destinations compete for tourists in a very competitive environment, especially in Asia as it reels from the effects of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. This study examines the nature of tour guiding in Hong Kong, assessing the existing level of professional service standards, and identifying issues and challenges facing the profession in the 21st century. Tour guiding issues were identified through an extensive series of in-depth and focus group interviews. Based on the findings, a set of recommendations was formulated. A key recommendation includes the establishment of a monitoring system to ensure high standards of service performance by the tour guides. It is recognised that the experiences faced by the Hong Kong tour guides are unlikely to be unique and there may be some issues and problems raised that are common to the guiding profession in most other countries. However, very few studies about the professional status and issues faced by the tour guiding profession have been reported in the English-based literature and this study would represent one of the first attempts to do so. In sharing the Hong Kong experience, there will be some lessons to be learnt for those in other countries, especially as the profession continues its efforts to improve the status and service professionalism of tour guiding throughout the world.
ISSN: 0261-5177
EISSN: 1879-3193
DOI: 10.1016/S0261-5177(01)00013-9
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