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Tour Guide

What is a Tour Guide?

  • A tour guide is a person employed to show tourists around places of interest. They are present at various different tourist spots that exist all around the world, the tour guides are the people who have the most accurate and intricate details about the particular place of interest. 

  • A tour guide works in a variety of locations. This determines the type of tour that he has to give. He may provide a very educational and detailed tour for adults or a simpler presentation for school-age children. They work for museums, sights and private companies and give several tours every day. Tour guides provide information while at the same time entertain customers.

What Does A Tour Guide Do?

  • A tour guide takes a group of tourists or a single tourist around a particular place and tells them in detail about it. A tour guide ensures that the experience of the tourists at the place is wholesome and fulfilling in terms of exploration as well as knowledge. 

  • All good guides are driven by a bigger picture, a mission. Aim that visitors understand how tourism can destroy a place or revitalize and strengthen a community.

  • Travel guides know the café, restaurant or shop that suits the guests' taste and know everyone.

What is the Eligibility to become Tour Guide?

(All Streams)

The government of India issues training and license to people. One needs to be a minimum of 20 years of age and should have a bachelor’s degree.

What are the skills required?

  • Organizational and Personal skills are important to you. 

  • Excellent communication skills 

  • Knowledge of multiple languages 

  • Well versed with the designated place 

  • Willing to do favours for the tourists such as helping them shop or clicking their pictures 

  • Physical fitness 

  • Friendly, Polite and outgoing

  • Regardless, no one is prepared for the questions you face on your first tour or training trip. The more you know about history, culture, food, language, geography, politics, economy, flora and fauna, before you set off on your training trip and hopefully on your first tour, the better.

How To Be A Tour Guide?

Eligibility (All Streams)

  • The Ministry of Tourism provides licenses to the Regional Level tourist guides and also organizes Regional Level Guide Training Programme. One needs to be a minimum of 20 years of age and should have a bachelor’s degree.

  • These programmes are conducted through the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) or other recognized institutes in coordination with the concerned Regional Director and India tourism offices located in that region.

  • Held once every two years, this course covers tourist aspects of the States within the region; impart fair knowledge of social, political and economic policies, etc.

    • The course also covers the expectations, requirements and procedures involved in tour directing and guiding, as well as techniques for group management, creating and delivering interesting narration, and handling challenges that arise.

  • The candidates are selected through a written entrance test that covers disciplines of Knowledge of monuments/tourist spots, history and general knowledge.

    • You are required to have at least 50% marks in the exam to be eligible for the training programme.

  •  If selected for the programme, the duration of this training would last for a period of 16 weeks. The programme would be equally segregated into theoretical practise and fieldwork. 

    • On completion of the training course, a written examination and a viva voce test would be held by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism. 

  • If selected to continue, you go through an extensive training process. Between, there are information sessions describing routes, acceptable behaviour and general advice. Students become tour guides and operate the system.

Top colleges offering tour guide course in India

  • IATA/UFTAA Career Development Programs- Various Cities

  • Trade Wings- Mumbai

  • Delhi University- New Delhi

  • Sophia Polytechnic- Mumbai

  • Banaras Hindu University- Varanasi

  • Skyline Business School- New Delhi

  • Bangalore University- Bangalore

  • Himachal University- Shimla

  • University of Madras- Chennai

  • Sita Academy- New Delhi

How to expand your tour guide business?

  • The type of tour you organize and what you want from it also determines the size of your groups. You may want to keep the experience as intimate as possible.

  • The traditional advice is to start small and expand over time. But, there are enough foreign visitors in other cities to support tours. A universal appeal of your tour product makes scaling easier.

  • A good guide tries to learn how to differentiate each tour from previous tours and make them unique.

    • You take care of identifying necessary improvements. You study what guests enjoy on their tours.

    • You learn by encouraging guests to provide feedback.

    • You use the information to improve future tours.

    • A good tour guide is an expert in their destinations and sights.

  • Many of the tour guides take guests and show them their own home or neighbourhood and to get to know their family. Freedom and flexibility are fundamental components of tours. You may let them rather explore this on their own.

  • You may provide suggestions and point them in the right direction. Most guides give guests plenty of free time. So you can stick close to your guests and or let them go their own way and make their own discoveries.

  • The nice thing about creating your own tour is that it can be tailored to the things guests enjoy doing. All you need to get started is an interest that you can share.

  • You can also post stories on your website using a blogging service. For example, with a group from India, you could show them locations in your city that have historical ties to their country.

Important Information

  • The license will be issued for a period of 3 years. After the completion of these 3 years, the candidate would have to renew the license which will be done after a test is done. 

  • Candidates who know languages other than English and Hindi languages such as German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean etc can also sign up to be tour guides, go through an 8-week intensive training programme. 

How much a Tour guide earns in India?

The good thing about being a tour guide is that you can travel; not just within the dimensions of our country but worldwide.

The amount of money you make will depend upon many factors. Usually, tour guides make around Rs 300,000/year on average.

Interesting Facts

Thomas Cook (English Businessman) founded the Modern Tourist Industry.