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January 27: Working in Tourism

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York University
ANTH 3120
Karl Schmid

4. Working in Tourism • The tour guide and the original guide • The original guide as cultural broker ◦ more of an entrepreneur, skill with language, outgoing, starting out young working as assistants, watching tourists ◦ language proficiency and comfort ◦ learning how people of different nationalities want different experiences, learning how to approach a diverse population of tourists ◦ working more one-on-one with small parties of tourists, different kind of interaction ◦ not something that is disappearing, but is very prevalent ◦ • Professional tour guide ◦ working for companies in the govt ◦ try to convey a degree of professionality, a degree of authority ◦ often very much in a kind of "leadership" position within a particular group of tourists ◦ often larger groups 1. Leader ▪ looking after the safety of the group ▪ control the group ▪ social integration, making sure that morale is up, organizing food and meals, dealing with problems that arise along the tour ▪ shift between the tour guide to the tour leader 2. Mediator ▪ cultural broker ▪ middle-man/woman ▪ act as a mentor, guide people through what they're learning ▪ teacher, guru, confidante ▪ involved in a representation, the people who are also the environmental broker, sharing about the place and the people; therefore what they say is interesting; their positionality is going to be very different from place to place ▪ sometimes reproducing stereotypes when coming from outisde the local area ▪ the tour guides themselves will be telling things about other people and about themselves through this process 3. Animator ▪ person who is supposed to be responsible for the enjoyment and entertainment of the tour ▪ tourists want to be entertained ▪ pressure for interesting events • these three roles are sometimes specialized for different guides, or tour guides have to be all three • Change over time and other issues ◦ changes in trends ◦ increasingly tourists don't want to learn much about the places that they're going to see ◦ tour guides in their own countries are in a position between cultures, and sometimes they're identified as cultural traders, that they're alienated from their own culture, especially when there's a big difference between cultures ◦ the tour guide, even if they're not participating in those kinds of activities, they're stigmatized by being associated w foreigne
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