The advancements in robotic technologies, artificial intelligence, and digital applications prepared the grounds for occupations, especially tourist guidance in the tourism industry. The study is one of the preliminary studies in its field having a comparative approach to analyze tourist guidance concerning the development of digital technology from the perspective of tourist guidance students and Turkish professional tour guides. The first sample is 52 tourist guidance students in a foundation university. The second sample is 20 professional tour guides. A structured interview technique is used to collect data from the students and a telephone interview technique is used for the tour guides. Findings reveal that the guides don’t believe that digital development will affect their jobs negatively soon but they know there is a threat of robots with artificial intelligence, the use of digital applications, and smart technologies. They highlight the key tools on their hands such as the human touch and emotions, human expression of feelings about tourist spots instead of digital voices, apps, and virtual tours. More than half of the guidance students think that they are going to lose their jobs to a robot guide. The study enlightens the field of tourist guidance for researchers and organizations.
Tourist guidance, digital technology, robot guide