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Tourist guides are the essential interface between a tourism destination and its visitors, and are very much responsible for the overall impression and satisfaction offered by a destination. However, despite the prominent role that tourist guides play in the system of tourism, fairly scant scientific attention has been paid to them to date. Tourist Guides create a link between the visitor and the host country. Yet, of the small amount of literature devoted to them, very few studies have asked tourist guides their views and opinions, and have built up a profile of the tourist guide. This paper is an attempt to redress the balance.
Primary research for this paper was carried out with a focus on the Tourist Guides of Dublin, Ireland as this destination contains the largest number of tourist guides on the island of Ireland. Some of the study’s findings are surprising. Many of the conditions of the job, characterised universally in the existing literature as negative, actually suit Dublin tourist guides. A large majority of both tourist guides and tour operators are optimistic for the future of the tourist guiding industry in the city. Is there a future/career for professional tourist guides in the industry? The answer is yes, although, at the moment, that future is seasonal and part-time.
Melia, D.: Is there a Future / Career for Tourist Guides?. EuroCHRIE Conference. Lausanne, Switzerland, October 2012