“The name, history and importance of a Tourist Destination could sell itself, but it takes the Tourist Guide to sell it well”. Anago James Akeem Osho.
|Anago James Akeem Osho and International students and teachers on tour of Badagry Historical monuments|
This statement describes the importance of a Tourist Guide in the marketing and promotion of a Tourist Destination. It should be noted that the relationship between a Tourist Guide, Tourist and Tourist Destination should be intimate, educational, emotional and spiritual. The intimacy is the relationship while the spiritual is the passion. The information in this work is basically gathered through my years of experience as a professional Tourist Guide.
According to World Federation of Tourist Guides Association, a Tourist Guide is a person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognized by the appropriate authority.
A professional Tourist Guide is a person who has chosen the promotion and marketing of a Tourist product: a place, monument, object, town, village, country, history, beach, Festival etc, as his profession and from time to time do meet, educate and tour people; tourists or excursionist’s around the Tourist product.
The sum totals of attractions natural, historical, cultural or man made with services, which will result into tourist satisfaction, are the products or commodities the Tourist Guides sell. The relationship between the Tourist Guide and his Tourists products should be intimate and spiritual. A tourist Guide could speak of an object/antiquity or a place that is for example about 2,300 years old, as if he or she was there when the object was crafted, invented or when an event took place. His or her ability to convey the information, successfully to the understanding and satisfaction of the Tourists and excursionists depend on the Tourist Guide’s knowledge of the history, place or objects.
A professional Tourist Guide should consciously seek advance education, training or self education to take the role of the interpreter of nature, history and heritage in general. The successful interpretation of art objects or cultural history will determine the service quality provided by the Tourist Guide. The sole objective of the Tourist Guide is the TOURISTS' SATISFACTION.
As the Tourist Guide interprets the heritage attractions; either natural or cultural, he becomes the establisher of intellectual (Educational) and emotional connections between the tourist and tourist destinations.
The role of the Tourist Guide is vital in the positive representation of a Tourist Site. The satisfaction or fulfillment of a Tourist in a tourist destination depends on how much information the curator, or guide is endowed with and how it is conveyed to the tourists. The desires or quest of adventurers, excursionist or tourists differs. A professional Tourist Guide should try to psychologically study and know what interest his or her tourists, and if he cannot, he or she should do his or her duty the best way a professional will.
The intimacy between the Tourist Guide and the Tourist products simply means how the Tourist Guide sees his profession. There should be a relationship between the Tourist Guide as a person and Tour Guiding as a profession.
Who is a Tourist? Who is an excursionist? What’s the different between a Tourist and an excursionist?
According to Ashamu Sewanu Fadipe, “A tourist is a person who travels from his usual place of abode with the view of returning in few days, weeks and months and participating in leisure and business activities” The tourist is an important element in the travel and tourism industry.
“An excursionist is that person engaging in tourism activities for less than twenty-four hours”. It is a same day visitor to a tourist site or destination who did not occupy tourist accommodation for overnight stay. The difference between a Tourist and an excursionist is that the tourist stays overnight in a hotel or guesthouse while the excursionist is a day visitor.
Tourists and Excursionists travel throughout the year but there are low and high season. So therefore, Tour Guiding gives room for Tourist Guides to be involved in other business activities but when the season is high and Tourists flocks in, the Tourist Guide lace up his boots or wears his sandals, pack his knapsack and the adventure continues.
The Tourist Guides intimacy or relationship with his work, how much he knows, how he adhere to the professions ethics, his passion for work, his public relations with the Tourists, experience and training will determine how professional he or she is.
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ROLES OF A TOURIST GUIDE
1. The character and behaviour of the Tourist Guide should be credible because it is vital in promoting and marketing a product (Tourist Destination, monuments, museums, historical sites etc).
2. The Tourists or Holidaymakers has a budget and are ready to spend their money but a Tourist Guide must provide the services that are worthy and satisfactory to the Tourists.
3. A Tourist Guide should be satisfied with the amount agreed on by both him or her and the Tourist and should not get greedy by devising means of extorting or exploiting the Tourist.
4. Tourists, especially well traveled international Tourists know a good Tourist Guide when they meet one, so, a professional Tourist Guide should carry out his duties judiciously.
5. The contact between a Tourist Guide and a Tourist could become a life long connection but a Tourist Guide should not force it because if he or she tries to, it may impress a negative sign to the Tourist. Such a connection could work naturally and if not, a Tourist Guide should not force it.
6. A Tourist Guide serves as the Ambassador to the Tourist destination, Historical Sites, Monuments, Museums, Place or Country they promote and market and their behavior either positive or negative, good or bad, remains in the mind of Tourists and that may determine the type of image or impression a Tourist will have about the Destination, Monument, Historical Sites or Country.
7. A professional Tourist Guide should be concerned about the need for historical accuracy. There should be consistency in information dissemination.
“False ideas about the past may lead those who believe them to have false ideas about things in the present also, and may result in foolish or even dangerous actions”.
The need for accuracy is very important and concrete references should be provided if requested for by the tourist or researcher. It is unethical and fraudulent to change history to soothe one’s ego, propaganda or family history. It is a heinous crime against humanity to try to change true history. Therefore, a professional Tourist should not be involved in it.
The sources of information about what happened in the past can be grouped into three kinds;
i. Written records
ii. Spoken tradition or Oral history
iii. Historical objects/Archeological discoveries
Yet, the different type of the sources of information about what happened in the past has its limitations in the extent to which it can give us true information.
8. A professional Tourist Guide is partly the protector of the product he sells. He or she is the protector of the historical sites, museums, monuments, Antiquities/objects, and Tourist destinations that he promotes. He or she should not engage in stealing and selling of historical objects.
9. There should be a particular day, either monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or yearly that the association of Tourist Guides should meet with Tourism stake holders like Government Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Museums managers, Historical site Managers, Family Historians, Beach Managers, Hotel Owners, Hotel Managers, Researchers, Archeologists, Restaurant Owners, Community Leaders, Security Officers like the police and detectives, Boat operators, Hospital Managers, e.t.c. to deliberate on how to improve the Tourism Industry. The Tourist Guides are those on the Tourism field of work who meet the tourists regularly and has first hand information about tourist needs, quest and desires. The Guides know what the tourists want to see and experience in terms of attractions, sites, history, adventure or infrastructures. For instance, new generations of tourists are mounting whose accommodation interest are Eco-lodges. These types of Tourist are interested in Eco-tourism. So, a professional Tourist Guide will create an itinerary to suite such tourist interest.
10, A Tourist Guide should not mis-manage the precious time of a Tourist.
1. http://www.wftga.org/tourist-guiding/what- tourist-guide
2. EN 13809 2003/ ENISO 18513 2003 Adopted by World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations: 10th International Convention: Dunblane, United Kingdom 2003
3. M. A. English, An Outline of Nigerian History, Longman, 1959, Page 2.
4. Ashamu Sewanu Fadipe, Basic principle and practice of Tourism, pages 39, 41, Media Ace 2007.
5. Ashamu S. Fadipe, Basic principle and practice of Tourism, page 219, Media Ace 2007
7. Branislav Rabotic, Professional Tourist Guiding: The importance of Interpretation for tourist experiences, 20th Bennial International Congress; New Trends in Tourism and hotel management, opatija (Croatia), 06-08. 05.2010.
8. LEKELEKE: Folk Stories, Poems, Maxims and Tourism Adventure Pictures. ISBN:978-978-948-102-6, Rafisho commercial Agencies, 2015.
9. Seriki Abass: Slave trade, Badagry, And the History that refuses to die By Anago James Akeem Osho
IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 21, Issue 8, Ver.1 (Aug. 2016) PP 42-47 e-ISSN: 2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845.
Anago James Akeem Osho is a Tourist Guide, Historian, Museum Curator, Creative Artiste, and Author
email@example.com phone: +234(0)8037043233