Tour guiding research and scholarship: a review of 50 years of research

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Weiler, B, Black, R & Torland, M 2014, 'Tour guiding research and scholarship: a review of 50 years of research', in M Chien (ed.), Tourism and hospitality in the contemporary world: trends, changes and complexity: proceedings of 24th CAUTHE conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 10-13 February, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., pp. 1214-1217.


Fifty years since the first publication on tour guiding it is timely to assess the state-of-the-art of theoretical and empirical research in this field to identify research strengths and opportunities. Based on a bibliometric and content analysis of 280 published scholarly works, a number of trends, patterns and gaps in tour guiding research were uncovered. About half were journal papers with the majority of authors based in either Australia or the US. Key themes were identified including the role of the guide as communicator/interpreter, the guide’s contribution to sustainability, visitors’ expectations of and satisfaction with their guide, and the use of tour guide training and other mechanisms for fostering quality. Most studies were located in Australia, China/Hong Kong/Taiwan, the US and Europe. In addition to highlighting the need for more theory when investigating tour guiding, many avenues for future research were identified that can underpin quality tour guiding practice.