Do you love to travel and enjoy meeting new people? Do you have an outgoing, friendly personality? Do you enjoy studying places to find out all there is to know about them, and then delight in sharing that knowledge with others? If that describes you, then you have what it takes to become a professional tour guide, a great way to do what you love and get paid for it!
Although many people these days like to go it alone when they travel, there is still a big demand for guides out there. You can work with an online travel agency, or OTA platform to find customers nearly anywhere you are in the world. There are plenty of opportunities available for you to make this dream job come true!
If you are still interested, let's take a minute to cover exactly what is expected of a professional tour guide. The main focus of a tour guide is to help travellers navigate interesting places and find attractions they are unfamiliar with, but that you are very familiar with. For example, maybe you are an expert on Australia's many amazing tourist destinations, if so, that's the place for you to go to work! Tour guides use their in-depth knowledge of the region to provide interesting information to the tourists, and to share their experiences to make their group's experience the very best it can be. Some of the responsibilities and roles a tour guide has are as follows:
First, study up on the essential details of your upcoming tour group including any of the tourist's specific needs, the group's main interests, and the ages of the group members. Find out if they have any special requests and prepare for them.
Make a sensible schedule, and be sure to purchase in advance all the required tickets to the tourist sites you will be going to, such as galleries, museums, parks, zoos, etc.
Plan your tour's routes with the length of the tour and the weather forecast in mind.
Have alternative activities planned in case of surprises like cancellations, closures, or foul weather.
When they arrive, welcome and greet the group before the tour starts to introduce yourself, and give them a short synopsis of what they are going to be experiencing. This is a good time to learn their names and faces, and double-check the group's number so you don't leave anyone behind!
Pass out any promotional and educational materials pertaining to the sites and experiences they are going to be visiting.
Give your group a brief low down on any local customs or restrictions.
Explain any necessary emergency procedures to the tourist group, their safety is always of paramount concern.
Go to the front of the line, blow your whistle, and wave your flag, it's time to lead your group on to adventure!
The Tourism Australia website has lots of useful information for both tourists and guides. Good luck with your exciting new career as a professional tour guide!