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Interpretation quality distinguishes tourist guides. According to an investigation carried out by the authors in 2012, tourists who travel with a guide claim that although these professionals play many different, relevant, and complementary roles, interpretation is, without a doubt, the most important asset. In Europe, a traveller can find tourist guides who have a certification issued by international European organisations and who have gone through training in interpretation, together with guides who do not have any training at all and are not certified by any organisation. This paper is only about the former. The idea of conducting this study arose from the fact that, from March 2020 onwards, the Covid-19 pandemic left over 90% of the guides unemployed. Many of them changed profession, others had to live very much below their usual standards, sometimes even facing serious issues, and some of them decided to face the situation by creating their own walking tours (in Lisbon) and started selling them on social media. This is where interpretation really becomes important. To plan and perform a walking tour, guides have to develop very good competences in the interpretation area. In order to obtain data on the interpretation performed by the guides who conducted their walking tours during the pandemic period, a questionnaire was designed and sent to 25 certified guides who were active from March 2020 to February 2021, all performing several themed walking tours in Lisbon. The findings of this research are presented in this paper in the form of a case study. Data collection took place in January and February 2021 aimed at understanding how Lisbon guides who organised and implemented their own walking tours use interpretation tools. Questions were asked to understand who the guides are, what type of tours were designed, the topics and themes of tours, and especially how do tourist guides use their interpretation skills.
Brito, Luis Miguel and Carvalho, Cristina
"Interpretation Performed by Certified Tourist Guides in Lisbon During the Pandemic: a Case Study,"
International Journal of Tour Guiding Research:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijtgr/vol3/iss1/6