Leadership in touristic animation

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LEADERSHIP IN TOURISTIC ANIMATION

Orlindo Manuel Graça Gouveia Pereira
Prof. Emérito da UNL
Rua David Melgueiro, n.º 24
1400-090 Lisboa
o.pra@me.com
Pedro Jorge de Matos Gonçalves
Prof. Adjunto
Instituto Politécnico de Leiria
Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
2520–641 Peniche - Portugal
pjmatosg@ipleiria.pt
Sílvio Manuel da Rocha Brito
Prof. Adjunto
Instituto Politécnico deTomar, Portugal
Quinta do Contador – Estrada da Serra, Gab.B183
2300-313 Tomar
Telephone 00351 249 328 100 ext. 2242
silvio.brito@ipt.pt

Abstract
Leadership in touristic animation is aimed at fulfilling the touristic group
expectations, in the context of a pre-set program. In principle, all leadership theories and
practices may be of use, if the group (and not the individuals) is keptas the central
focus. However, it should be assumed that here we are not performing an instrumental
task but an expressive (emotional) enterprise. In accordance, encounter groups (TGroups) and resonate leadership theories are better guides to support the leader`s job.
Keywords: Touristic Animation; Leadership; Resonant Leadership; Emotional
Intelligence; Tourism.

1. Introduction
Commonwisdom is apt to make believe that tourism is a word derived from the French
“tour”, in the 20 th Century, and that the touristic phenomenon is a contemporary fad.
That is far from being true. The French word “tour”, as a masculine noun, means to go
around, and brings to memory the famous “Tour de France”, a sports competition, and
as a feminine noun, means tower, which, in its turn, recalls thestone monuments around
the world tourists are generally inclined to visit. So, tourism has to do, basically, with
travelling to visit faraway places, where they can find landmarks of Civilization (and
also a diversity of people).
The question is that tourism is far from being a contemporary activity. In human
development there is always a moment in which one experiences the urge to get awayfrom home and from the familiar people around. It is debatable if the great pre-historical
migrations were touristic, but genetic evidence shows that trans-clan inbreeding
witnesses the tendency to get out of the geographic and cultural local bonds, that were
more extended than simple mating.
The fist evidence of tourism as common social activity comes from Ancient Greece and
is materializedin Pausanias` Guide to Greece (second century A.D.), a momentous
book, which English translation, by Peter levy (1971), for Penguin Classics required
two volumes and 1127 pages. One of us had opportunity to confront the
recommendation of Pausanias` Guide, on an actual visit to Cape Sounion, and
marvelled about how it is stile accurate.
Before Pausanias, Homer`s Odyssey with its repeatedappeals to the rules of hospitality
– how they were obeyed or not obeyed – make us wonder to whom they were referring,
and if some of main characters of the plot may not be considered tourists, travelling
from place to place, in obedience to the gods` capricious commands. Some of them, like
the mains hero, Odysseus (Ulysses), were endowed with charisma, a god given capacity
to lead the othermortals into extraordinary enterprises. Most of the ancient voyagers
were received by the hosts with festivities to «animate» them…
Any tourist guide, Pausanias` being the first, is considered today by the social scientist,
as a leadership substitute (S. Kerr and J. Jenifer, 1978). Indeed, inasmuch as tourism is
today a group practice, the question of Leadership arises at diversified levels. Tourism is a big business; some countries deriving must of their income from it. As
such, there are a myriad of organizations bound to the activity. Those organizations, big
and small, national or multinational, need to be “planned, organized, commanded,
coordinated and controlled”, as Fayol (1949) said. That means they have to have
presidents, administrators, directors, chefs, supervisors,...
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