The tour guide is an indispensable segment of the entire tourism industry. Like the other important parts of the tourism and hospitality industry, tour guides play a pivotal role in imparting his knowledge to his tourist group. On the occasion of International tourist Guide day, I would like to pen down the different facets of the tour guide. The year 2020 has been a tough time for the entire world tourism industry due to the corona pandemic. With the arrival of the corona vaccine, the tour guide fraternity is hopeful for a blissful 2021. Under the same hopes 2021 international tourist guide day is celebrated throughout the entire world.
What is a Tour Guide?
A tour guide is a person who gives information, assistance and conducts a tour for the group or the individual tourist many locations such as the museum, heritage site, religious place,s or adventure sport. They are specially trained for these purposes and have skill and education on their subject. They get licenses from the tourist department or from other authorities such as forest department, museums, etc. The earliest description of a tour guide can be traced back to 18th century Japanese portrait where a Filipino tourist is portrayed consulting a guide.
In Europe, the tour guides are represented by FEG –The European federation of the tourist guides. In India, the tour guides are under the umbrella Body of T.G.F.I. and some other bodies.
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What Are The Types Of Tour Guide?
There are different types of tour guides all over the globe. They conduct the tours in their specific field. Most popular are heritage tour guide categories who provide tours or the heritage places such as forts, palaces, museums, etc.
Jungle guides or wildness tour guides are found in the forest areas and conduct safari tours. Similarly, adventure tour guides assist in the adventure activities like skiing, scuba diving, mountaineering, cruising, etc.
Nature guides are deft handed in tending tours on hill stations, rivers, botanical sites. Shopping guides play their role in arranging shopping tours when tourists urge for any local souvenirs.
How To Become A Tour Guide?
Becoming a tour guide is not as easy cake as it appears. First of all, you must have a passion for the job and full dedication. You must be ready to live outside for a couple of days away from home. Sometimes you have to forsake your interest or lunch. A tour guide has the remarkable gift of the gab.
With a certain qualification, you must apply before the body who issues a license for your job. These bodies also provide you a training session and thus teach you about your job and manners. After the completion of the training period, you are provided with the official permit to work on the sites, Now you must wait for your first assignment for that you must be fully confident.
You must look for some good tour operator of your choice. Suppose you are a nature guide, you should seek such an operation that has bird watcher tourists. If you are a culture tour guide you should approach that operation that has heritage tours, certain tour operators need previous experience before assigning you. If you are a novice in this field you should consult the senior tour guides for work in the era of interest you can also generate work yourself from social media or launching your blog or website.
You much have modern gadgets connecting you with the travel society. One must be ready 24×7 without fail to keep in mind your job as a priority.
Duties And Responsibilities Of A Guide.
A tour guide has area-specific knowledge. He or she has a lot of responsibilities and duties to perform. It is the tour guide who can make or mar the experience of the tourist. First of all, a tour guide must have proper knowledge and updates on the subject. He or she must know about the weather, security, ticket pricing, and time schedule updates of the monument or the places.
Safety of the tourists is of the utmost importance in the case and problems like traffic jams, riots or any other of such nature, the tourist must be briefed beforehand. Tourist guide must have a better understanding of human psychology as every day one is encountered with new faces and people with a different temperament. Sometimes you are bombarded with scores of questions at a time and you have to answer with sagacity. Thus you have to be dedicated but elucidating utmost from one of it. Some tour guides working for their corporation must be against the guides working for their corporation, must be acquainted with the ins and outs of their corporation or the industrial locations.
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Work Permit Needed To Work Overseas.
Those of you who went to work as a tour guide or tour leader overseas must follow some other rules for many countries you are supposed to get a work permit. So you must have a passport beforehand and apply for the work permit quite in advance. As most of the travel agents or the tour managers for the outbound jobs for the peak season, you must approach them and discuss the dates. Later you go for the legal formalities.
Tour Guide Jobs
For getting a tour guide job you must have certain skills besides educational and legal certifications. First of all, you should possess organizing skills and patience. You must be well versed in the language and have a good command of language and subject. You must have safety training and time management skill. Moreover, you should be a good reader and updated with the day-to-day news of the activities.
You can seek a tour guide job by placing advertisements or free sites or on social media. You should approach the travel agents.
Tour Guide Apps
There are several tour guide applications, web portals that are in search of tour guides or tour leaders. Viator tour guide is a renowned portal. Similarly, you can find work with Get your guide, Free tour guide, Klook, India Tourist Guide, Trip Planner, Audio compass, etc.
How Much A Tour Guide Is Paid?
In the USA tour guides normally earns USD 80 to 160 per day. Besides they receive tips from USD to 100. Thus their daily income ranges from 200 to 300 USD per day.
In Europe the countries like England, France or Italy they get nearly 50 euro per day. Besides they also receive handsome tips.
In Australia, the average wage of a tour guide is 150 Australian dollars. In the Asian continent, the countries like India and Sri Lanka are paid USD 30 to 40.
Tour guides in Thailand and Bangkok normally earn USD 40 per day.
Tour Guide Course in India
In India, there are several types of tour guides. The ministry of tourism guides is selected with the offline exam. Normally IITM arranges these exams and thereafter arrange these exams and thereafter a training program is arranged. After a couple of months of theoretical and practical training, those who succeed the ministry of tourism issue a guide license. Later each five years later a refresher course is arranged. Such tour guides are known as regional level guides and they are authorized to work in the entire region, baning for private properties.
Similarly many states In India, tourism departments arrange state-level guide courses from time to time those who are 10+2 can apply for it. Besides the archeological survey of India has some local guides at certain places. The adventure tour guides or the forest guides are certified by the other departments.
What Is A Local Tour Guide
In 1840 Thomas cook started conducting tours to Paris and the whole of Europe. Later with the arrival of the railway tourism flourished and the urge for tour guides started. These guides assisted the travelers to other places.
A local tour guide is a person who does not travel to other destinations with a traveler. Rather they are based at one place and conduct the sightseeing tours of the groups. A private tour guide just takes care of his clients. The local tour guides know their location very well and have command over history and culture. They conduct the tour on foot or by car.
Why One Should Hire Guide?
understanding the culture of alien lands and knowing the historical facts is a tough task. If a traveler is traveling on his own, it becomes very hard for him to know about the timing, routes, entry charges, and other updates. It is the tour guide who can brief the tourists about the daily schedule. Entry charges and leads him to the monuments or to the bazaars.
It becomes very difficult for a foreign national to interact with a localite who does not know his language or even cannot speak English. Thus it is the tour guide who can translate the views of a locality to his tourists. The tour guides can lead a passenger to a proper bank, restaurant, money changer, or to a hospital.
Driver Tour Guide
In countries like Canada generally, the tour guides also offer you a transport facility their hire price includes the price of a taxi car, your guide also drives the taxi and ferries you from different sightseeing locations.