PROFESSIONAL TOURIST GUIDING: THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERPRETATION FOR TOURIST EXPERIENCES
In today’s international tourism it may happen that, without the role of mediators, existing destination resources remain either unavailable to visitors or not properly understood and valued by them. Interpretation of the local heritage, living culture, values and cultural identity in general is the key component of the contemporary guide’s role. Tourist guides are front-line professionals who, unlike any other tourism players establish a close, intense and influencing contact with visitors at the same time protecting interests of sustainable tourism.
They are often called “tourism ambassadors“ of their destinations. Nevertheless, their profession is commonly perceived as an ancillary, repetitive and mass tourism activity, although it can be a very effective tool in the construction of tourist experiences.
Key words: Tourist guiding; Guided tour; Tourist experience, Interpretation.
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