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8 June, 2012


In the context of cultural heritage, tourist guides and interpreters sometimes are perceived as
information distorters using different reading develops an academic argument on the

Definition of key terms

Interpretation is an educational activity, which aims to reveal meanings and relationships
through the use of original objects, by firsthand experience, and by illustrative media, rather
than simply to communicate factual information (Tilden, 1957).
Interpretation is the art of explaining the significance of a place to the public who visit it in
order to point out a conservation message. (Aldridge, 1975).
Interpretation is a communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections
between the interests of the audience and the inherent meanings in the resource." (National
Association for Interpretation Board of Directors, 2000)
Heritage interpretation is a means of communicating ideas and feelings which help people
understand more about themselves and their environment. (Interpretation Australia
Association, 2003)A
Tourism is the travel or movement of people from their usual place of residence to other places
for not more than one conservative year for purposes of leisure, business, research and so many
others. This process involves the movement to various destinations or attractions in order to
experience new things.
A tour guide is someone who shows visitors around an area, with the guide using extensive
local knowledge to share the area with visitors. Tour guides are hired to help people navigate
unfamiliar areas, and to make trips special, as a good tour guide sets a positive tone for a trip
and shows people things they would not have discovered otherwise. Tourist using a tour guide
while travelling since can also be useful because tour guides are very knowledgeable, and they
can provide facts and information which help visitors interpret and understand the places they
There are two form of interpretation such as person interpretation which refers to programs in
the forms of talks, demonstration, puppet, show story telling nature works and tours and person
guide should be face to face interpretation.
Another form is non person interpretation which is the form of travellers information station
signs, exhibition, self guide trails and interactive computers. Tour guide is the back born of

tourism industry since it interpret and explaining the significance objects, place where that
object found, environmental or landscape and culture of people to tourists with that destination.
Objective of interpretation

Learning objectives what you want your visitors to know

Emotional objectives what you want your visitors to feel
Behavioural objectives what you want your visitors to do

Interpretation is very important in tourism industry since, tourism industry involves customer
expectation and satisfactions, so there are needs of interpreters and tourist guide for provide
description to the visitors in the destinations because of the following factors;
Viewed as a form of communication, between the hosts communicates and
interpreters with tourist and through a tour guide become families with the culture of the
particular destination.
Improvement the management of the destination, interpretation used as Managerial
tool and strategies of sustainable tourism, recreation natural and cultural resources, interpreters
and tour guide usually work on promote and sustain tourism industry so the interpretation is
importance, for example Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), National Museum of Tanzania
(NMT) and antiquities department using the interpreters and tour guide to provide information
to the visitors which contain management regulation.
Interpretive activities contribute to enhance the experiences of visitors which
provide sustainable experience to them, interpretation to visitors use alternative to provide
information to tourists, for example Village Museum of Tanzania use interpreters to provide
whole information about culture of ethnic groups and architectural found in Tanzania, also
tour guide enhance the experience of visitors by given them what customer expect to the
Continuity Inspiring in the visitant with a sense of pride about his regions
culture or heritage concern. Tour guide and interpreter help to the visitors to inspire of what
has been offer from the destination hence continuity of culture of that area and sustainability
of cultural resource as a result bring the concept of heritage, because continuity move cultural
heritage product from one generation to another.

Enhance quality, interpretation is very vital as far as cultural and natural heritage is
concern to enforce quality within a destination there is the need for interpreter or tour guide, for
maintain and enhance sustainable tourism through maintain quality of visitors experience, life
of local community, improve of information and protect quality of environment for that
destination by act as moderators.
Raising consciousness in visitants about their place and giving them a better
understanding through the interpretive message due to tourism demand the participation of
numerous individual and organization create partnerships to broaden support and chance t o
success due to the role of the interpreters and tour guide
In the context of cultural heritage, tourist guides and interpreters sometimes are perceived as
information distorters due to various numbers of reasons that are;
Poor Research and techniques methods, tour guide is the one who led a tour and
provide relevant/significance information to the specific destination but most of tourist guide
perceived to be information distorters. Tourism is the broad industry with many attractions
including cultural and natural attraction and the tour guide can be signed to lead the tourist in
unfamiliar destination it can provide wrong information to tourist though poor research a
techniques methods about the area for instance the tour guide can provide wrong information
on maps, location and culture of that particular destination
Language problem, this means that in destination different visitor from different part
of the world they can be found to the destination but you can find every people they have they
are language which they use to the communication, so you can find a tour guide of that
destination he/she cannot manage to speak all language accurate so during illustration became
difficult hence lead to distort of clear information to visitor. Example German language it is
most big language which is difficult learn so many tour guide they are not aware about it.
Personal mood on a day, in any activities deal with delivery of services it much
depend on the personal situation on that day at particular area for instance when persons is not
in a good conditional like he sick, psychological problem will lead to wrong interpretation on
that site due to that interpreter will act as the information distorter because he will rush over the

The need of more tips, The tour guides and interpreters are referred as the information
distorter due to the fact that most of the tour guides and tour interpreters they always
considering much on getting tips, hence they can earn money from the tourist rather than
concentrate on giving the required information to the tourist instead they are exchange things
by giving extra ordinary information over the cultural heritage they are visiting with in this
Interpersonal skills over interpretation, in this case the tour guides and interpreters
are referred as the information distorter due to the fact that most of the tour guides and
interpreters do not have enough skills or knowledge on the resources, knowledge concerning
the audience and appropriate technique as individual on interpreting differencing cultural
heritage sites .Due to that, they fail to present the accurate information to the visitors.
Also the tour guides may distort the information according the different circumstances
they are likely to face for instance when it comes the matter of the ages and the disabilities like
blind and deaf people example Interpretation addressed to children (say, up to the age of
twelve) should not be a dilution of the presentation to adults, but should follow a fundamentally
different approach. To be at its best it will require a separate program.(Tilden 1957)
Failure of human memory; Memory is the faculty by which the mind store and
remembers information. In the tour guide, human being is responsible to provide or narrate
the information, knowledge and concept to visitors. Always tour guides are not use or read a
paper when provide lectures, but only memorized what they preserve in their mind.
This activity is very information risk, because the guider may lose or failure to remember
what she or he preserve on mind, hence human are not predictable in working. Due to that
tour guides can bring wrong information which distorts the cultural heritage information, it
because the same information cannot occur in same object otherwise raises information
All in all interpreters and tour guide has an great impact on cultural heritage site both
positive like continuity, sustainable of resource ,enhance quality of visitors experience


due to the circumstances such as poor research ,language problem, failure of human lead to
information distortion hence loss of cultural authenticity of area (product).

1. Beck, l. And cable, t. 1998. Interpretation for the 21st century: fifteen, Guiding
principles for interpreting nature and culture. Sagamore publishing. Champaign,
2. .Association for Heritage Interpretation (UK) 5, may 2012 04:45pm
3.Interpretation Association (Australia) 06, may 2012 11:15am
4 Interpretation Canada 06, may 2012 11:36am
5.The Interpretive Development Programme (US National Park Service) 06, may 2012 12:20pm