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Performing Co-produced Guided Tours

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Tour guides have traditionally played a key role in linking tour operators, incoming agencies and tourists. However, very little attention has been given to the competences that involve performative aspects of guiding. Such performative competences involve the complex maneuvring in native and foreign cultures, intercultural mediating, functioning as pathfinders and mentors, and negotiating in unfamiliar destinations to their guests in a culturally sensitive manner, and coordinating group movements in space. The article examines the complexity involved in guided tours, and consequently the need for a deeper understanding of the performative aspects of guided tours. The article concludes that the performative aspects of guiding tourists involve interpretations, mediations and translations through verbal and bodily communication. It also involves the ability to engage by producing intense moments through narratives and creative affordances. One final conclusion from this work is that it is a challenge to actually use the variety of scientific perspectives offered within tourism education programs in order to produce hybrid study outcomes, but, it could also be seen as the pragmatic approach that tour guides adopt in practice.

Keywords: co-production of experiences; hybrid understandings; performative aspects of guided tours; tour guides

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Social and Health Sciences,Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden 2: Department of Cultural Geography,Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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