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Tour guides lead groups of visitors through points of historical, cultural or regional interest. They provide in-depth knowledge about destinations frequented by tourists, vacationers and students. Tour guides are generally trained on-the-job. Tour guides work for tour and travel guide companies, cruise lines, visitors' bureaus and hotels as seasonal workers, independent contractors or full-time employees. They may lead walking tours, driving tours or cruises through popular sites, national parks, historic neighborhoods, museums or other regional points of interest. Tour guides must be able to retain historical facts, dates and anecdotes, and then relay that information to visitors in an entertaining, informative way.
- Describing places to people.
- Greeting tourists groups.
- Providing safety devises.
- Escorting groups of people on cruises.
- Providing directions to tourists.
Key skills for tour guide:
- Interest in working with people
- Excellent communication skills, and a clear voice to speak to groups
- Ability to present information in an interesting way
- Good memory for facts, figures and events
- Keen interest in the arts, history and other related subjects, such as architecture
- Good organisational skills for planning tours
- Ability to manage your time effectively
- Awareness of health and safety issues.
Average salary (2013):
The United Kingdom: Tourist guides working in London and the South East could earn between £10 and £15 per hour. In other parts of the UK, you would earn between £6 and £7 per hour. As a tourist guide working for an employer such as a coach trip tour operator, you may be able to earn between £18,000 and £20,000. As a regional tour supervisor or manager, you could earn up to £30,000.
The United States of America: $23,770 per year
Australia: AU$20,15 per hour
Qualifications and training required:
A degree is not required for entry into this profession, but strong competition often makes relevant experience and/or qualifications necessary. This could include National Vocational Qualifications or a degree in an appropriate subject such as leisure, travel, tourism, or languages.
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