Tour Guides’ Service Quality in the World Heritage Sites of Gondar City, Northwest Ethiopia, Dr. Endalkachew Teshome, Abebe Melash and Dr. Amare Wondirad
Dr. Endalkachew Teshome
Associate Professor of Ecotourism and Wildlife Management, Department of Tourism Management, College of Business and Economics
University of Gondar
Professional National Tour Guide
Tour Guides Association
Dr. Amare Nega Wondirad
Senior Lecturer, , School of Tourism and Hospitality Management
The University of the South Pacific
Design/methodology/approach: This research adopts a cross-sectional descriptive study design and employs a quantitative research approach with a systematic sampling technique to address its objectives.
Findings: Based on the four tour services quality domains of Weiler and Black (2015), Gondar’s city tour guides provide a relatively good quality of service. Among the four domains, mediating physical access and mediating encounters were properly delivered through enhanced interactions of tourists with local communities. Moreover, in the domain of mediating understanding, tour guides deliver consistent service and information for all visitors in line with the pre-planned tour package. However, the study findings limitations of engaging visitors to co-create service experience.
Research limitations/implications: This study is subjected to a couple of shortcomings. The research would result in more robust findings had it adopted a mixed-method research approach. Another limitation is related to the lack of methodological sophistication for the quantitative data. However, that was done intentionally since we aim to provide research beneficiaries with a straightforward analysis for a better understanding.
Practical implications: Research findings offer crucial practical implications to the tour guides of Gondar City and Gondar City Administration Culture and Tourism Office in terms of enhancing the skills and professionalism of guides so that they execute their jobs efficiently and thereby satisfy tourists. Moreover, as the study specifically points out gaps of tour guides, it implies essential information for other stakeholders to take action and bridge this gap.
Originality/value: Despite Gondar City's rich accounts of history and heritage with a promising tourism sector, thus far the tour guides were not given adequate attention. This is a pioneering study in this respect that suggests useful implications.
Keywords: Tour Guiding; Service Quality; Co-creating Experience; Mediating Encounter; Gondar, Ethiopia.