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Intensive tour guide training in regional Australia: An analysis of the Savannah Guides organisation and professional development schools
journal contributionposted on 09.10.2018, 00:00 by Julie CarmodyJulie Carmody
A number of authors believe that tour guide training may hold a key to passing on the concept of sustainable tourism to tourists. Savannah Guides Limited (SGL) is an organisation for tour guides interpreting and protecting the tropical savannahs of northern Australia. This paper examines the provision of intensive professional development schools, which the SGL organisation provides, to raise standards of professionalism for nature-based tour guides in remote regions. Its framework is based on Schein’s three levels of organisational culture model, andBlack and Ham’s 10-element performance-based tour guide certification programme. Active participant observation of the development school process and a self-administered questionnaire to SGL members were used to understand the organisation’s success. The main motivations for tour guiding are explored, as are the ways in which tour guides acquire knowledge. It is suggested that the provision of professional development schools in nature-based tourism regions benefits the guide and the tour guiding industry, and contributes to the protection of the natural environment. It is proposed that the SGL training model of professional development schools and certification be adopted by tour guiding organisations in other regional destinations as a way of nurturing and advancing quality tour guiding and professionalism.