Shailja Sharma & Nimit Chowdhary
As tourism becomes more important across the world, so does destination competitiveness with destination managers executing every detail of the services offered, leaving none to chance. In this case, one of the most important roles of a tour guide is to take, lead, and accompany a tourist while visiting an unknown territory. Hence, to a large extent, the quality of tourist experience is dependent upon how the tour guides conduct themselves. In other words, these tour guides, although primarily are responsible to tourists, must also address other aspects so as to create a happy experience for the tourists. This largely also depends on who is responsible for supplying tour guides and how other stakeholders agree to work with these tour guides in catering to the needs of the tourists. Hence, the important question asked here is how the different stakeholders view the role of the tour guide and their expectations. The purpose of this study was to identify the expectations of various stakeholders regarding the role of tour guides. There appears to be a significant difference in the expectations of the various stakeholders. A comparison was drawn between the expectations of eight stakeholders (domestic tourists, inbound tourists, travel agents/tour operators, tourism authorities, managers of monuments/attractions, hoteliers/restaurateurs, merchandisers, and the tour guides themselves). Based on primary data collection, this paper attempts to discuss if there is a difference in the expectations of different stakeholders as far as the role of a tour guide is concerned.
Key words: Tour guides, roles, expectations, stakeholders