This paper reports on research conducted of a segment of tourist guides operating in north Australia. In their pursuit of delivering high quality tourist experiences in a remote and professionally isolated setting, they have associated themselves with Savannah Guides Limited (SGL). SGL is a professional association of tour guides operating in North Australia’s tropical savannahs in an area re-known as remaining wilderness with many cultural assets. SGL seeks to set and maintain high standards in relation to interpretation and public education, training and guiding, and natural and cultural resource management. This paper investigates what guides are looking for in their professional association and whether their aspirations are being met. A survey was conducted of current and former SGL members to test whether the industry leadership model indeed works for members. Likert-type scales were factor analysed to detect patterns in members’ values, expectations of and satisfaction with SGL. Reasons for individuals joining SGL were the strong professional branding, working with like-minded people, and a sense of wanting to protect and care for the area. Member expectations were largely fulfilled and benefits were seen to manifest in tourist business and satisfaction, revealing SGL as a well-functioning and highly self-regulated organisation with strong leadership and a recognisable brand. The paper uses the Learning Organisation framework to discuss the challenges of ensuring the continued success of a tourist guiding brand focussed not only on education and skills. Furthermore, it draws on the importance of SGL’s philosophy and focus on teaching and preserving.
|Title of host publication||Proceeding 3rd Regional Conference of Tourism Research|
|Subtitle of host publication||Innovation & Optimisation of Tourism Research|
|Editors||Ku Azam Tuan Lonik|
|Place of Publication||Malaysia|
|Publisher||Sustainable Tourism Research Cluster (STRC)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Event||3rd Regional Conference of Tourism Research: Innovation & Optimisation of Tourism Research - Langkawi, Malaysia|
Duration: 29 Oct 2013 → 31 Oct 2013
|Conference||3rd Regional Conference of Tourism Research: Innovation & Optimisation of Tourism Research|
|Period||29/10/13 → 31/10/13|
Greiner, R., & Wegner, A. (2013). Maintaining Industry Leadership in Tourist Guiding: The Case of North Australia's Savannah Guides. In K. A. T. Lonik (Ed.), Proceeding 3rd Regional Conference of Tourism Research: Innovation & Optimisation of Tourism Research (pp. 439-445). Sustainable Tourism Research Cluster (STRC).