Awareness and Relevance of Tour Guiding Profession to Hospitality and Tourism Management Students of Iloilo City

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Awareness and Relevance of Tour Guiding Profession to Hospitality and Tourism Management Students of Iloilo City

  • Deborah Charisse D. Jagodilla
  • 809-820
  • May 20, 2024
  • Education

Awareness and Relevance of Tour Guiding Profession to Hospitality and Tourism Management Students of Iloilo City

Deborah Charisse D. Jagodilla

Faculty, College of Commerce, University of San Agustin, General Luna St. Iloilo City, Philippines

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2024.1104059

Received: 26 March 2024; Revised: 16 April 2024; Accepted: 17 April 2024; Published: 20 May 2024

ABSTRACT

Travel and tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that exists in all parts of the world.

As a result, the nature of tour guiding and the skills required by an individual guide can vary widely. In order facilitate these demands it is recognizable that there is a need for tour operators and guides who are thoroughly adept in administrative and social aspects.Hence, it is crucial to train and develop the knowledge and skills of tour guiding to tourism and hospitality management students.The purpose of this study is to determine the awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession to hospitality and tourism management students.

The convenience sampling was employed in the selection of the participants of the study. A survey instrument was constructed as the data collection tool. This study utilized the non- parametric test for normality using mean scores, rank, and standard deviations were employed as descriptive statistics; while the Shapiro wilk,  Kruskal- Wallis test for independent samples, Spearman Rho, and Mann Whitney, were employed as inferential statistics.

The criterion for the acceptance or rejection of the null hypotheses was set at .05 alpha level. The study revealed that most participants assess their awareness level to tour guidingprofession as “highly aware.” Furthermore, a greater number of the participants perceived tour guiding profession as “highly relevant.”

The test for normality using Mann- Whitney U Test and Kruskal- Wallis  shows that no significant differences existed in  their level of awareness and perceived relevance to tour guiding professionwhen they were classified according to sex and degree program pursued.

However, positive and significant relationships existed between the participants’ level of awareness and relevance  to tour guiding profession when they were taken as a whole and further classified as to sex, age, and degree program pursued, (p= . 000, p=> .05)  Therefore, the null hypotheses must be rejected.

The study concluded that an increase of awareness has a relationship on the relevance of tour guiding as a profession among hospitality and tourism students.

Keywords: Tour Guide, Tour Guiding, Travel, Tourism, Awareness, Relevance, Hospitality

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The current geographical distribution of tour guiding largely mirrors the distribution of tourism. In this sense, tour guiding has important implications for the tourism industry and therefore needs a strong educational foundation (Sengel, 2021).

Student tours in the Philippines constitute the majority of group travel. More often it needs the services of a tour guide to facilitate all of the necessary arrangements for the convenience of the tour. Aside from these advantages, tour guides are equipped with broader knowledge of a certain destination’s history, people, culture and places of interest which includes possible opportunities for career advancement, investments and destination development. Such vast expertise is then shared and creates students’ awareness especially to the interest of Tourism and Hospitality Management students.

Career opportunities are boundless in the Tourism Industry and it has affected the choices of Hospitality and Tourism Management students. However when tourism and hospitality students are asked for their views on considering tour guiding as a profession, the response varies.Tourism students’ response to the question above would most likely be a tour coordinator or tour guide with a limited knowledge on the contributions, roles, and qualifications of the former (Cruz, 2008).

A tour guide is defined as “a professional person who often interprets cultural and natural heritage and directs groups (and sometimes individuals) around venues or places such as natural sites, historic buildings, places and landscapes” (Weiler & Black, 2015).  They are often referred as the orphans of the travel agency as they are somewhat hidden in the trade of the tourism products. This is caused by the limitations posed by the nature of the travel agency.

In fact, tour guiding has been the subject of very little scholarly inquiry, let alone rigorous research.  This may be due to the tour guide’s lack of profile, status and visibility to researchers, in comparison to the impacts of large-scale tourism developments, which are conspicuous and therefore widely debated by academics, industry and the general public (El-Sharkawy, 2007; Skanavis and Giannoulis, 2010). Similarly, there has been considerable research on tourist accommodation, tourist attractions and, more recently, tourism events.

 The contribution and impacts of tour guides and tour guiding are usually glossed over by researchers, planners and managers (Cotterill, 1996). As a result, the concepts and models used to educate tourism students about tourist motivations and the tourist experience are largely untested and may serve to reinforce stereotypes and possible misconceptions of the guided experience.

Although, there are recent studies on tour guiding and the roles and functions of guides; however most of these researches treat awareness and relevance of tour guiding separately.  This study aimed to determine how awareness in tour guiding profession would relate to its perceived relevance among tourism and hospitality management students.

Tour Guides play a powerful role in the process of life-long learning. In recent years, the concept of travel as a vehicle for education has become one of the most prominent trends in tourism.  Travellers are looking for travel opportunities that provide more than mere entertainment. In fact, many contemporary educational theorists suggest that in a rapidly changing global society, the role of conduit or facilitator should be the highest goal for all educators (Cruz, 2008).

Achieving the desired success in tourism is linked to the high expectations and motivations of young people who have received tour guiding training (Sengel, 2021).

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

 This study connected itself to Carl Roger’s theory of learning. He believes that the facilitation of learning is the only goal. Rogers’ convictions about education and the learning process are relevant and applicable to guiding together with his descriptions about the qualities of a facilitator. He believes that individuals who possess the attributes of the facilitator and are bold enough to act on them are those who revolutionize education.

Furthermore, Weiler and Crabtree, (2010) state that visitors on specialized guided tours have also indicated that they are motivated not only by the ease and convenience of travelling with a guide, but by the opportunity to learn something. Visitors would choose a guided tour, not because they have to, but because they perceive the guide and he tour as offering something better than they can experience on their own. Exposure trips of hospitality and tourism management students here in the Philippines are strictly monitored by the Commission on Higher Education. Prior to the conduct of the tour  the ,faculty in-charge should establish all pertinent documents which includes the tour itinerary emphasizing the use of tour guiding services. The role of tour guides in facilitating the needs and information to tourism and hospitality students greatly influence their ability to learn the various attractions visited.

The theory of Wrightsman (1972, in Sulleza) was used as basis for the level of awareness. He believes that people’s awareness and understanding of things may closely link with their attitudes towards it.  Exposure to new knowledge may cause individuals to change attitudes positively or negatively. This awareness and understanding is dependent on past experiences or memory. He further explained that the senses are entry points for the mind to become aware and to understand what is happening in the environment. However, variation and interpretation happen because of differences in the individual’s capacity to interpret the stimuli that confront him.

Statement of the Problem

This study was conducted to determine the level of awareness and perceived relevance of tour guiding among Bachelor of Science and Tourism and Hospitality  Management Students in Iloilo City.

Specifically, the study sought answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the level of awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession among hospitality and tourism management students’ when taken as an entire group and classified according to (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) course?
  2. Are there significant differences in the level of awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession among hospitality and tourism management students classified as to (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) course?
  3. Is there a significant relationship between the level awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession among tourism and hospitality students when taken as an entire group and classified according to (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) course?

Hypotheses

Based on the aforementioned statement of thenge problems, the following hypotheses were employed at 0.05 level of significance:

  1. There are no significant differences in the level of awareness on tour guiding profession among tourism and hospitality management students classified according to (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) course.
  2. There are no significant differences in the relevance of tour guiding profession among tourism and hospitality management students classified according to (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) course.
  3. There is no significant relationship between the awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession among tourism and hospitality students.

The null hypothesis was used in this study. A null hypothesis is a type of conjecture in statistics that proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations and is used to assess the credibility of a hypothesis by using sample data (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/null_hypothesis.asp).

Conceptual Framework

These possible relationships and differences are summarized by the following conceptual framework:

Figure 1 Students perception on tour guiding as influenced by their level of awareness and certain identified personal factors. 

METHODOLOGY

Research Design 

This academic endeavour aims to determine the awareness and relevance of tour guiding profession among hospitality and tourism management students. The study was conducted on October 2023. The participants of this study were the selected students taking Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management enrolled during the first semester of the academic year 2023- 2024. The convenience sampling was employed in the selection of the participants of the study.

A survey- questionnaire was used to gather data on students’  awareness and relevance totour guiding profession.

This study utilized the non-parametric test for normality using mean scores, rank, and standard deviations were employed as descriptive statistics; while the Shapiro wilk,  Kruskal- Wallis test for independent samples, Spearman Rho, and Mann Whitney, were employed as inferential statistics.

The .05 alpha will be used as a criterion for the acceptance or rejection of the null hypothesis. All statistical computations will be processed via the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software.

Data-gathering Instrument 

For the purpose of this study, a questionnaire was constructed. It is made up of three parts. Part one will deal with the personal data about the respondent, such as sex, age,and course classification. Part two consists of questions regarding the awareness of hospitality and tourism students to tour guiding profession. Part three consists of questions regarding the perceived relevance ontour guiding profession. For Statistical purposes, numerical weights were respectively assigned to the responses pertaining to the awareness of tour guiding profession among hospitality and tourism students.

Response                                                       Weights

5                                                                    Strongly Agree

4                                                                    Agree

3                                                                    Undecided

2                                                                    Disagree

1                                                                    Strongly Disagree

Highly Aware meant that the members of the group are very much aware of tour guiding.

Moderately Aware meant that the members of the group have moderate awareness to tour guiding.

Aware meant that members of the group are aware of tour guiding.

Barely aware meant that the members of the group are slightly aware of tour guiding.

Not aware meant that members of the group are not familiar with tour guiding.

The following scale was used to weigh the response of the respondents’ pertaining to their level of tour guiding awareness.

Scale                                                              Description

4.21- 5.00                                                       Highly Aware

3.41- 4.20                                                       Moderately Aware

2.61- 3.40                                                       Aware

1.81- 2.60                                                       Barely Aware

1.00- 1.80                                                       Not Aware

Respondents are asked to check the box that represents the degree of relevance  of tour guiding profession by the following scoring:

Response                                                                             Weights

Strongly Agree                                                                      5

Agree                                                                                      4

Undecided                                                                             3

Disagree                                                                                 2

Strongly Disagree                                                                 1

Highly Relevant meant that the participants perceived an item to be extremely important.

Moderately Relevant meant that the participants felt the item is important on the average level.

Relevant meant that the participants perceived the item important.

Not Relevant meant that the participants believed the item is not important at all.

Highly Not Relevant meant that the participants believed the item is extremely not important.

The following scale was used to weigh the response of the students pertaining to the level of perceived relevance.

Scale                                                              Description

4.21- 5.00                                                      Highly Relevant

3.41- 4.20                                                      Moderately Relevant

2.61- 3.40                                                      Relevant

1.81- 2.60                                                      Not Relevant

1.00- 1.80                                                      Highly Not Relevant

Data-gathering

The test for reliability and validity of the instrument was conducted before the distribution of the survey . The researcher will prepare and personally send a letter to the respondents informing them that they will be the key informants of the study and the questionnaire will be given for them to answer. Sufficient copies are produce and distributed to the respondents.

The researcher will administer the instrument personally to ensure 100% retrieval and to ascertain whatever problems and questions that may arise will be attended and answered immediately.

After the instruments are gathered the data will be tallied and computed, processed, analyzed and interpreted using appropriate statistics.

Data Analysis 

After the respondents answered the questionnaire the researcher will check on the spot for omissions, inconsistency, incompleteness, and errors.  A numerical code was given in every corresponding questionnaire. The software the researchers’ used for encoding, data analysis and interpretation was the statistical package for social sciences. The researcher used the mean, rank, and standard deviations for descriptive analysis.

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized to process the result of the study.

Standard Deviation. Standard deviations were employed to ascertain the dispersion of the means. The standard deviation is used to ascertain the student’s homogeneity and heterogeneity in terms of their level of awareness and perceived relevance to tour guiding.

Mean. The composite weighted mean was used to determine the level of relevance of tour guiding as perceived by students.

Rank. The mean rank was used to determine the level of awareness and perceived relvance of tour guiding among the participants of the study.

Mann- Whitney. The mann-whitney U test was used to determine the significant differences between the level of awareness and perceived relevance of tour guiding among hospitality and tourism students.

Kruskal- Wallis.

Spearman Rho. The Spearman Rho was employed to determine the significance of the correlation between the level of awareness and perceived relevance of tour guiding among hospitality and tourism students, the Spearman Rho was employed.

The .05 alpha level was used as the criterion for the acceptance and rejection of the null hypothesis.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS

Study results revealed the following, generally, the participants’ had high awareness of tourguiding profession.Table 2 revealed that the participants’ had high  awareness of tour guiding profession when they were taken as an entire group.This was revealed by the obtained mean scores that fell within the 4.21-5.00 scale. However, when the participants were classified as to sex those who were males had moderate awareness ontour guiding profession (M= 4.10, SD= .687), when the participants were classified according to age those aged 18- 21 years old   (M= 4.08, SD= .789) had moderate awareness on tour guiding profession and those 25 years old and above as well  (M= 3.93, SD= .621). It seems to show that tourism and hospitality management students were given appropriate trainings and exposure such that they were able to comprehend the essential functions of tour guides and guiding services in the tourism industry.

Table 2 Participants’  Awareness to Tour Guiding Profession

Category N M SD
As a whole 70 4.23 .645
Sex
Male 26 4.10 .687
Female 44 4.32 .612
Age
18- 21 years old and below 18 4.08 .789
22 – 25 years old 43 4.36 .557
25- years old and above 9 3.93 .621
Course
BSTM 23 4.25 .607
BSHM 15 4.21 .696

Scale                                                              Description

4.21- 5.00                                                       Highly Aware

3.41- 4.20                                                       Moderately Aware

2.61- 3.40                                                       Aware

1.81- 2.60                                                       Barely Aware

1.00- 1.80                                                       Not Aware

Data in Table 3 revealed that the participants when taken as an entire group  perceived tour guiding profession as highly relevant. This was revealed by the obtained mean scores that fell within the 4.21-5.00 scale. However, when the participants were classified as to sex those who were males perceived tour guiding profession as moderately relevant (M= 4.14, SD= .789), while participants from ages 18- 21 years old and below (M= 4.13, SD= .835), had a moderate perception of the relevance of tour guiding profession. In the same manner, when the participants’ were taken as to course or program pursued specifically the BSHM students (M= 4.05, SD= .766) perceived tour guiding profession as moderately relevant.

Table 3 Particpants’ Perceived Relevance on Tour Guiding

Category N M SD
As a whole 70 4.29 .721
Sex
Male 26 4.14 .789
Female 44 4.38 .671
Age
18- 21 years old and below 18 4.13 .835
2 –  22 – 25 years old 43 4.35 .665
3 –  25- years old and above 9 4.32 .779
Course
BSTM 23 4.49 .620
BSHM 15 4.05 .766

Scale                                                              Description

4.21- 5.00                                                       Highly Relevant

3.41- 4.20                                                       Moderately Relevant

2.61- 3.40                                                       Relevant

1.81- 2.60                                                       Not Relevant

1.00- 1.80                                                       Highly Not Relevant

The results seem to indicate that the participants’ believed that tour guiding has given the local destination the opportunity to be recognized through the knowledge imparted by tour guides. They become more aware of the essential functions of tour guides, hence they were able to consider and relate themselves in developing their personality and regard tour guiding as relevant for their future profession.

The Mann- Whitney U Test results in Table 4 revealed that no significant differences existed in the participants’ awareness to tour guiding profession when they were classified as to sex. Obtained u(459)= – 1.39, p= .38, p= > .05.

Table 4 Mann- Whitney U Test Results for the Differences in the  Awareness toTour Guiding Among the Participants Classified According to Sex

N Mean Rank U Z P
Male 26 31.15 459.000 -1.393 .164
Female 44 38.07

The Kruskal- Wallis Test results in Table 5 revealed that no significant differences existed in the participants’  awareness to tour guiding profession when they were classified as to age. Obtained H=3.282 , p=194., p= >.05.

Table 5  Kruskal- Wallis Test Results for the Differences in the Awareness of Tour Guiding Profession Among the Participants Classified According to Age

Age N Mean of Ranks H P
18- 21 years old and below 18 32.36 3.282 .194
22- 25 years old 43 38.67
25- years old and above 9 26.61

The Mann- Whitney U Test results in Table 6 revealed that no significant differences existed in the participants’ awareness on tour guiding profession when they were classified as to course or program pursued. Obtained u(595)= -.155 , p=.876, p= > .05.

Table 6 Mann- Whitney U Test Results for the Differences in the Awareness ofTour Guiding Profession Among the Participants Classified According to Course

N Mean Rank U Z P
BSTM 38 35.16 595.000 -.155 .876
BSHM 32 35.91

The Mann- Whitney U Test results in Table 7 revealed that no significant differences existed in the relevance of tour guiding profession when participants’ were classified as to sex. Obtained u(464)= – 1.39 , p=.173 ., p= > .05.

Table 7 Mann- Whitney U Test Results for the Differences in the Relevance of Tour Guiding Profession Among the Participants Classified According to Sex

N Mean Rank U Z p
Male 26 31.35 464.000 -1.393 .173
Female 44 37.95

 The Kruskal- Wallis Test results in Table 8 revealed that no significant differences existed in the participants’ perceived relevance ontour guiding profession when they were classified as to age. Obtained H= 1.037, p=.595, p= >.05.

Table 8  Kruskal- WallisTest Results for the Differences in the Relevance of Tour Guiding Among the Participants Classified According to Age

Age N Mean of Ranks H P
18- 21 years old and below 18 31.50 1.037 .595
22- 25 years old 43 37.09
25- years old and above 9 35.89

The Mann- Whitney U Test results in Table 9 revealed that no significant differences existed in the participants’ perceived relevance totour guiding profession when they were classified as to course or program pursued. Obtained u(396)= -2.58. , p=. 010, p= > .05.

Table 9 Mann- Whitney U Test Results for the Differences in the Relevance ofTour Guiding Profession Among the Participants Classified According to Course

N Mean Rank U Z p
BSTM 38 41.07 396.500 -2.589 .010
BSHM 32 28.89

Age, sex, and course are factors not to significantly influence the participants’ awareness and p relevance on/of/to tour guiding profession. Hence, regardless of whether one is 18- 21 years old, 22- 25 years old, and 25 years old and above; male or female; BS Tourism and BS Hospitality Management, their level of awareness and relevance on/of/to tour guiding profession remains comparable.

Data in Table 10 revealed that significant relationships existed between the participants’  awareness and relevanceto tour guiding profession when taken as a whole and further classified as to sex, age, and course or program pursued.

Table 10 Spearman Rho Correlation Coefficient  Results for the relationships in the Awareness and Relevance to Tour Guiding Profession

ρ p-value
TGLA and TGPR 0.678 .000

Finally, the participants’ level of awareness and perceived relevance on tour guiding were significantly related.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In view of the findings, conclusions, and implications, the following are recommended:

  • The tourism officials and the local government can now look into the present condition of tour guides and provide them with substantial support so they will be motivated to promote the country with pride.
  • Data on the participants’ level of awareness on tour guiding could assist tourism officials to further develop linkages or partnership with universities and colleges for a strong mobilization of human resources. Schools offering tourism and hospitality management courses can further enhance their curriculum by the insights and experiences of those working in the field of tourism industry.
  • Knowing their perception about tour guiding students of tourism and hospitality management can improve their personality, knowledge, and communication skills. They can make use of the available opportunities provided by their respective universities and colleges, such as exposure trips or immersions to further enhance their understanding of tour guiding.

Moreover, their improved knowledge can bring about a greater awareness on the contribution and roles of tour guides in the society and hence give them encouragement to pursue a career in tour guiding.

  • Teachers handling travel and tour operations can make use of this endeavour to enhance their current teaching methodologies and thus create a more innovative approach in the discussion of the tour guiding business.
  • Future research on the role and contributions of tour guides in the society can encourage the growth and development of guided tours.

REFERENCES

Books:

  1. Claravall, B.G. (2013), Travel and Tour Operations in the Philippines, 3rd Ed., ACCUMICRO I.T. SOLUTIONS 1514- E Alcantara St. Sampaloc, Manila 1008, pp. 345.
  2. Cruz, Z. (2008), Principles of Tourism, National Book Store, Quad Alpha Centrum Building, 125 Pioneer St. Mandaluyong City 1550. ISBN: 971-08-7042-4
  3. Goeldner, C.R. and Ritchie J.R. (2012), Tourism Principles, Practices, Philosophies, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NI. pp.4-5.
  4. Wrightsman, Lawrence S. Adult personality Development (1994), SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, California 91320, pp. 1-20.

Journals:

  1. Lima, I.B. (2016), Pivotal Role of Tour Guides for Visitors’ Connection with Nature: Conceptual and Practical Issues, International Journal of Humanities and Applied Sciences, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2016, ISSN: 2277-4386.
  2. Evana P., Tariga J., Baguilat L. G. (2021), Praxis and challenges of Tour guides in Quirino province, Philippines, International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Reviews, ISSN: 2395-6518, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2021, pp. 8- 18. https://www.academia.edu/65417287/Enhancing_the_visitor_experience_Reconceptualising_the_tour _guides_communicative_role
  3. Weiler B., Walker K. (2014), “Enhancing the visitor experience: reconceptualising the tour guide’s communicative role,” Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Vol. 21, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtml. 2014. 08. 001.
  4. Weiler, B. and Davis, D. (1993) “An exploratory investigation into the roles of the nature based tourleader”, International Journal of Tourism Management, Vol. 14 No.2, pp. 91 98.
  5. White, B.P. and Williams, H. (2000) “Labor force trends in travel and tourism education and training: good practices from Asia Pacific,” in Asia Pacific Tourism Association Sixth Annual Conference, pp. 181-185, Thailand: Phuket. https://www.academia.edu/65653791/Tour_guides_Roles_challenges_and_desired_competences_ A_review_of_literature
  6. Zammit, Vincent (2020) “Roles and Responsibilities of a Tourist Guide and their Trainers: Refections and Recommendations,”International Journal of Tour Guiding Research: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 5. doi: https://doi.org/10.21427/05e0-z213 https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijtgr/vol1/iss1/5
  7. Sengel, Umit (2021) “The Effect of Professional Expectations of Tour Guiding Students on their Professional Motivation,” Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, Vol. 29: November 2021, 100293, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S147383762030229

Website:

  1. Roger, Carl. Associated Learning Theory http://tip.psychology.org/rogers.html

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