Tour Intercultural Communication Competence for an Excellent Tour Guide
Comparative studies of expectation from American, Chinese and German tourists

Research abstract - 

  • In the rapid expansion of global tourism, tour guides play an important role in bridging cultures. Having an excellent intercultural communication competence (ICC) will be critical for their success. Based on the behavioral expectation model (Pavitt & Haight, 1985), Leclerc & Martin (2004) showed cross-cultural variations of the tour guides’ ICC among the American, French and German travelers. However this study also raises question about the appropriateness of applying ICC frameworks, developed in the US, to other cultures.
  • This study pursues to develop more cultural sensitive tour guide ICC model, especially from Asian perspective. At first, eleven group discussions were conducted to elaborate the expectation of an excellent tour guide. Sixty-two participants from China, Germany, Australia, Pakistan and Malaysia, were taken part. The whole discussions were video recorded, fully transcribed and then analyzed using content analysis. Secondly, based on the ICC model generated in the group discussion, a fifty-one items questionnaire was designed. The questionnaire was distributed to around 400 travelers from China, Germany, and America.
  • The results showed significant cultural differences in the expectations from the international tourist. Further it also demonstrated that the developed ICC model is culture sensitive in capturing the different expectations of the international travelers.

Key words –
Tour Guide, Intercultural Communication Competence, Cross-Cultural Study, International Tourism

Summary of key results –

  • For the dimension of Knowledge, there are significant differences among the three countries, of which, Germany hold highest expectation for the knowledge of tour guides.
  • For communication skills, there are significant differences among the three countries, of which, Chinese hold highest expectation for the communication skills of tour guides.
  • With respect to traits, there are significant differences among the three countries, of which, Chinese hold highest expectation for the traits of tour guides.
  • There is no significant difference among the three countries in the area of interpersonal skills.