Author ORCID Identifier



Professional tour guides (PTGs) play an instrumental role in Australia’s tourism industry, however, there is little understanding of their perspectives regarding their challenges, expectations, belonging, and recognition. Anecdotal evidence suggests that they lack a voice and feel neglected within the tourism industry. This study adopted an interpretivist approach to capture the voices and perspectives of 19 Australian PTGs, through focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews. This qualitative study was seen through the lens of Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory (1974). A key finding is that the tour guides’ strong sense of belonging is the motivating factor to address the lack of recognition, unmet expectations, as well as numerous challenges framed around Australia’s unregulated tour guiding industry. Belonging is the attribute that motivates them to engage and strive for better recognition.





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