Hospitality & Tourism

Tour/Tourist Guide

Tour guides lead tourists and visitors around cities, museums, art galleries, gardens or places of historic significance.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Tour/Tourist Guide do?

Tour guides lead tourists and visitors around cities, museums, art galleries, gardens or places of historic significance.

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Work activities

As a tour guide, you might:

  • a castle or historic house guide
  • a sightseeing tourist guide round a city
  • a day trip guide to a place of local significance
  • a trip guide for a tour lasting several days or weeks.

As a tour or tourist guide, you might:

  • plan activities and timetables to suit your group
  • escort groups around a site or area
  • walk, or drive small groups around in a car or minibus
  • lead a group on a specialised tour lasting for a number of days or weeks
  • explain the relevant history of places, pictures or objects
  • answer questions about your information, itinerary or institution
  • manage groups of differing abilities and ages
  • communicate with those whose first language is not English.
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Key skills and interests

To become a tour guide, you would need:

  • excellent oral communication skills
  • a passion for the places or exhibits you are guiding people through
  • patience, and good people skills
  • the ability to adapt the information to the interests and ages of your group
  • a good memory for facts, figures and events
  • good organisation skills
  • an ability to deal with problems quickly.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Tour guides may work a standard number of hours per week, or work seasonally. Most tour guides work at weekends and some evenings. If you are leading a group for several days or weeks you would work long hours.

Conditions

You may be leading groups outside in all weathers or standing all day inside at a museum or art gallery. The working conditions vary greatly depending on where you work.

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How to become an Tour/Tourist Guide?

Entry Level Education

No formal qualifications are required to work as a tour guide. Many people become tour guides because they have a passion for travel, or for the places or objects they are guiding people through. You would get some informal training on the job. A VET qualification in tourism, travel and tourism, or guiding may improve your chances of employment in this occupation.

Relevant experience in the hospitality or the tourism industry may also add to your employment prospects.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

This is a small and specialised occupation, but employment prospects are expected to be above average, and to continue to grow.

An increasingly mobile and affluent population is travelling more, and this creates opportunities for tour guides. Inbound tourism in Australia is showing strong growth, and job prospects are likely to be best for those with experience, and /or who can speak more than one language.

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