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How to Start a Career as a Travel Tour Guide

tour guide at machu picchuFor those who have a special place in their heart for their hometown and the surrounding area, and get great enjoyment from showing friends and family all the amazing sights it has to offer, a career as a travel tour guide could well be the ideal way to turn a passion into a fast-paced career.

The good news is that tour guides get most of their training on the job, which means there formal education requirements are usually not necessary.

Tour guides must interact with groups of people while keeping them focused, entertained, and informed.

Of course, having broad knowledge of local history and attractions is a decided plus along with a background in theater or entertainment. Experience in teaching can also help greatly toward getting a first interview.

Part-time or occasional travel gigs make this an excellent way to supplement a full-time job or as extra income for retirees. That said, there are some definite skills required to be a good travel guide, the chief one being excellent communication skills.

"Tour guides must interact with groups of people while keeping them focused, entertained, and informed..."

Successful travel guides will also have a great deal of leadership ability and organizational aptitude. They must be able to coordinate with local attractions to organize everything from short day trips to weeks-long tours 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 wilderness first aid training, or experience leading nature expeditions, can also find seasonal work in areas where these skills are in demand.

Some tour guides work on cruise ships or for tourism companies, private resorts or attractions, or may specialize in ecotourism, lead biking tours, or even work for the government.

The job outlook for travel tour guides is good, with average growth expected for the next ten years. The average earnings for those working in the tour guide industry are about $22,000 - $31,000 a year, not including extra income found in generous tips or gratuities from grateful travelers.

More about how to become a tour guide around the Web:

So You Want to Be a Tour Guide - Excellent overview with tips on what it takes, typical salary ranges, career pros and cons.

Learn How to Become an International Tour Guide - Comprehensive guide with job profile and description including required skills, education and responsibilities, with related resources.

Tour Guide - Information on finding work as a tour guide in Western Australia with detailed job description, career outlook, average salaries, and related training resources.

The World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations - The premiere professional organization focusing on career development, jobs, and education, including downloadable publications, online forum, related resources.


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