Title: Interpretive guiding and sustainability: an evaluation of tour guides' performance

Authors: Wei Hu; Geoffrey Wall

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Hainan University, 58 Renming Avenue, Haikou City, Hainan Province 570228, China ' Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada

Abstract: Previous examinations of guiding activities were made largely based on visitor satisfaction. This study explores them from a holistic perspective under which not only visitor satisfaction, but also the meaning to local resource conservation and economic promotion are considered. By applying interpretive guiding principles, this paper examines the guiding performance in Hainan, China. It is found that a large gap exists between what guides should and can do and what they actually do to promote the realisation of a sustainable destination. The low professionalism of the guides and the desire for instant money-making are the main issues inhibiting the adoption of interpretive guiding, calling for enhanced tour guide training and management.

Keywords: tour guides; sustainable development; sustainability; interpretive guiding; China; tour guide performance; visitor satisfaction; local resources; resource conservation; economic promotion; local economy; sustainable destinations; tourist destinations; professionalism; money-making; training.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2014.059847

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2014 Vol.3 No.3, pp.261 - 274

Received: 23 Nov 2012
Accepted: 19 Aug 2013

Published online: 21 Jun 2014 *

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