A tour guide’s schedule calendar can be very random, after all tourism isn’t only active in the summer – even in destinations with year-round tourism, the amount of jobs can vary per season.
What Tourist Guides Do
- Guide visitors to the places they are visiting
- Explain to visitors about the places
- Responsible for the logistics and planning of a trip, ensuring everything runs smoothly
- Prepare accommodation and meal for tourists
- Ensure safety of tourists
- Arrange for transportation for visitors
- Assemble and check required supplies and equipment before departing for tour
- Describe points of interest along the tour and answer questions as required
- May be responsible to guide visitors while operating a vehicle, traveling in a vehicle or on-site while providing commentary
- Monitor visitors’ activities in order to ensure compliance with establishment or tour regulations and safety practices
- May have to either plan and/or conduct itineraries and activities
Is there any job security?
Not really. Most guides work on a tour by tour basis. While you’ll be over-worked during the peak seasons (usually summer), come off-season you’ll probably be looking in the Help Wanted ads. Many guides are on the books of several companies so they can maximize their work opportunities.
Could I be a guide in a country that I’ve never even visited?
Absolutely. Most companies find it difficult to recruit guides in certain countries and many guides are sent to new regions. While this may sound great, imagine trying to guide 50 people around a city you’ve never even been to. And with a busy schedule, it’s unlikely you’ll get time to explore on you own.
More About Tourist Guide Jobs
Tour guides must interact with groups of people, keeping them focused, entertained, and informed.
Successful travel guides will also have a great deal of leadership ability. Above all, they must be able coordinate with local attractions to organize trips and outings so that they happen seamlessly.
While a lot of tour guides will operate in places they know well, those with unique skill sets such as City Tour or Nature Guide leading may be able to find seasonal work in areas where these skills are in demand.
Some tour guides work on cruise chips or for tourism companies, private resorts or attractions, or may specialize in eco-tourism, lead biking tours, or even work for the government.