An evaluation of heritage tourism interpretation services in taiwan
MetadataShow full item record
The purposes of this study were to (a) establish conceivable indexes for professional competencies of heritage interpreters, (b) evaluate the existing training curriculum of heritage interpreters, and (c) examine the impacts of interpretation services on tourists¡¦ satisfaction at a tourist destination. Based on these specific objectives, three distinct studies were conducted. The first study aimed to identify interpreters¡¦ competencies through a self-reported survey obtained from the groups of heritage interpreters, hospitality educator, students, and tourists at the heritage sites. The second study summarized the opinions of interpreters and hospitality educators concerning an active interpretation-training curriculum. The third study examined the differences in satisfaction levels regarding tourists who received interpretation services (personal and nonpersonal interpretation services) at a popular tourist destination in Taiwan. Major findings include: (a) ¡§work attitude¡¨, ¡§basic employability skills¡¨, ¡§theories of interpretation education¡¨, ¡§field work of interpretation knowledge¡¨, ¡§preparation and planning of interpretation¡¨, ¡§skills and training of interpretation¡¨, ¡§research ability¡¨, and ¡§handling emergency situation¡¨ were recognized as the important competency categories for a competent heritage interpreter, (b) training courses identified by heritage interpreters and hospitality educators could be categorized into the following categories: professional knowledge, interpretation techniques, related regulations, safety and emergency handling, on-site training, and (c) tourists had positive responses to both personal and non-personal interpretive services; however, as the availability of the personal interpretive services were limited, tourists selected non-personal interpretive services while they visited the site to obtain the information. The findings of the studies may contribute to interpreters¡¦ training and to the tourism industry in general. The outcomes of the study identified competencies that would serve as the basis toward developing an effective interpretation training curriculum that can improve heritage interpreters¡¦ training in Taiwan. In addition, the findings may motivate interpreters to seek professional development opportunities in the future. Tourists would benefit from the quality interpretation services offered by the interpreters who have received competency-based training programs derivate from this study. Managerial implications and suggestions for future research directions were included.