Are tour guides in china ready for the booming tourism industry?

Haiyan Kong, Yuk Yim Cheung, Tom Baum

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to develop a profile of the educational attainments, skills and attitudes, career needs, and plans of tour guides in China based on a study of both permanent and freelance guides. The findings indicate that tour guides are ill-prepared for the booming tourism industry. The workforce in China's tour guide sector is currently dominated by young staff with an educational background in vocational and/or professional schools. Although a guide's work is challenging and demanding, tour guides in China do not appear to be highly respected either within society or among family circles. Tour guide work offers unstable career development prospects due to the relatively limited promotional prospects and poor training opportunities available. To attract and retain qualified guides, a focus on career management and training qualifications should be regarded as an urgent priority in human resources strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Career needs and career plans
  • Educational attainments
  • Skills and attitude
  • Tour guide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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