A tour guide works for a tour company or a specific tourist attraction to provide tours of various travel destinations. They may work at a specific destination or, if working for a travel agency, travel with a party from one destination to another and perform guide duties through the whole travel process. The tour guide may escort a group on a bus or by air, and some positions require international travel; therefore, the ability to travel may be essential.
The ability to carry out public speaking in an engaging and effective manner is necessary as well. Tour guides must have strong customer service skills to build tourist satisfaction, and they may need to memorize a script if acting as a tour guide for a certain destination. The tour guide should also have extensive knowledge of the destination to answer any questions that the tourists may have. The job often requires the tour guide to have a flexible schedule depending on employer needs. Some positions are full time, while others are part time and temporary.
In positions where the tour guide is in charge with a specific attraction, a safety inspection may have to be carried out by the tour guide to eliminate any hazards that may be encountered on the tour. The ability to manage large groups of people and keep them orderly while maintaining appropriate customer service is essential.
Many positions do not have a minimum education requirement though some require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some positions may require experience relating to tours or public speaking. Minimum physical requirements may be required, as the position often requires moving around the sites to be toured.
Tour Guide Tasks
Answer questions and provide information.
Accept payments and tickets, and ensure that all on the tour should be there.
Lead tours along according to a schedule and a predetermined map.
Document worked hours, attendees, problems, and other information.