Humour and Communication in the Tourism Industry in Malaysia

Roswati Abdul Rashid, Radhiah Ismail, Noor Asliza Abdul Rahim, Roslina Mamat


This study was conducted to observe the pattern and function of humour used by Malaysian tour guides during their guided tour sessions. The guided tour sessions were done in Japanese with Japanese tourists who were visiting Malaysia. Data was collected employing systematic observation methods using audiovisual records and on-site observation notes on their interactions. The interactions between the tour guides and tourists were observed and their conversation were recorded during their 8 tour sessions around Kuala Lumpur and Malacca City. For data analysis, the audio records were transcribed verbatim, while the visual records and observation notes were used as references for certain contexts that were unclear in the audio records. The result shows that humour was applied during the tour sessions in the form of jokes to make participants laugh. In addition to attract the interests of the Japanese tourists for them to focus more on the explanations by the tour guides, it also functioned to build good relationships between the tourists and the tour guides. The good relationships built between them have made the tour sessions to be more relaxed and friendly. This study has shown the importance of using humour by tour guides during their guided tours for tourists visiting Malaysia. The findings of this study could also give a clearer picture on the basic factors of effective communication for guided tour sessions in Malaysia.

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