Career Advice: If you are a tour guide or want to be one, then you must definitely check out the qualities every tour guide must have!
You can call being a Tour Guide fun and exciting. But it involves a lot of challenges. Especially in these tech-savvy times. Ask yourself – “Why would someone want me when they can get eeeevryything on google”. Are you thinking that’s a threat to your job? Hold your horses…
There’s no need to panic. We have come to your rescue! Scroll down to know what qualities every tour guide must have that can beat the internet!
Know everything about your destination
Yes, you heard that right! As a tour guide, you are expected to know everything about your destination. From amazing beaches to narrow side lanes, best restaurants, the striking landscapes, the history behind a famous bakery, local superstitions, and haunted houses, you must know it all! Every tiny little detail will play important to your role as a tour guide.
Know more than one language
Knowing more than one language can definitely work in your favour. Apart from having a verbal fluency in English (which is a must these days), knowing how to speak in the local language is a plus. You never know, some tourists may even want to learn a few words before they head home! It also helps to know a few phrases like thank you and basic greetings in the language of the most popular tourist segment to your destination.
You can look here for some language learning websites.
Make it interesting!
Touring is all about the experience… Be a storyteller! Everyone loves a good story. Take them through town while narrating a historical incident, or an event, maybe add some punchlines along the way! Remember, you must master the timing. A good sense of humour is not going to hurt anyone!
Communicate with your group
You may be guiding a couple or a big group of 50 or so enthusiastic tourists, but if you don’t interact with your audience they are going to feel like they are following their history teacher. Is that what you want? Definitely not, I would say!
Go on then, chat with your fellow tourists, ask them how they feel, give them something to remember you by when they go back home!
Good Organizational Skills
Timing is the most important thing during the tour. You need to be in a certain place at a certain time. However, some tourists may dwindle longer than the others, seeking more information and admiring the spot. Spending too much time at one spot can throw off the whole plan.
To avoid such possibilities, set timings for your group, let them know when you’ll be leaving for the next spot. But don’t hustle, set your timings in a way that allows them to absorb the place without feeling rushed while also allowing you to cover all the important spots.
Also, you might want to keep entrance tickets and other pre-requisites ready to avoid wasting time.
As a tour guide, you’ll be dealing with different kinds of people. You might occasionally find yourself in difficult situations. Someone’s baby might fall sick, there might be someone with a disability, or a passenger might be dealing with motion sickness. Being kind and empathetic in such situations is the key.
Now that you know what qualities every tour guide must have, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, show off your amazing tour guiding skills!
If you are looking for how to become a tour guide, then you may want to read further…
What does it take to become a Tour Guide?
First things first, there is no age limit in this profession – You could be a young 20-year-old operating a tour in your local area or a 50 year with the enthusiasm of a child. It works!
Although educational qualification is not mandatory, it’s preferable if you have a graduation degree in any discipline, preferably Art, Archaeology, History and Culture.
Tourism Guide recruitment position in India
The tourism department of India regularly holds an examination for the post of an official tourist guide. Ministry of Tourism [MoT] also provides a licence to recognized tourist guides. Moreover, many states in India have made having a tour guide licence a mandatory affair.
You can also find job opportunities at state level tourism development corporations across India. Many institutions across India also offer diploma courses in travel. As travel and tourism is a growing industry having a career in the travel sector can be rewarding!