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What Does it Take to Be a Travel Guide?

Job Description: Plan, organize, and conduct long distance travel, tours, and expeditions for individuals and groups.

List of Travel Guide Job Duties

  • Arrange for tour or expedition details such as accommodations, transportation, equipment, and the availability of medical personnel.
  • Sell travel packages.
  • Resolve any problems with itineraries, service, or accommodations.
  • Pilot airplanes or drive land and water vehicles to transport tourists to activity or tour sites.
  • Lead individuals or groups to tour site locations and describe points of interest.
  • Set up camps, and prepare meals for tour group members.

Travel Guide Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Travel Guides say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Tour Director
  • Cruise Agent
  • Tour Consultant
  • Mountain Services Manager
  • Cruise Guide

Are There Job Opportunities for Travel Guides?

In the United States, there were 3,600 jobs for Travel Guide in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Travel Guide by 2026. There will be an estimated 600 positions for Travel Guide per year.


The states with the most job growth for Travel Guide are Maryland, Utah, and Iowa. Watch out if you plan on working in North Carolina, Washington, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools do Travel Guides Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Travel Guides:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Data visualization software
  • Facebook
  • Tableau
  • Global Positioning System GPS software
  • Financial accounting software
  • Customer information databases
  • Travel Agent CMS

How to Become a Travel Guide

Learn what Travel Guide education requirements there are.


What work experience do I need to become a Travel Guide?


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Travel Guide may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Travel Guide sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Bblackpsu via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

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