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How to Be the Best Tour Guide

The best tour guides don't just show you around -- they put on a show!


  • Step 1: Prepare yourself for unexpected circumstances. Carry a first aid kit and be trained in how to use it.
  • Step 2: Learn all you can from the people who tour with you, adding to your fund of stories. Get feedback for what works and what should be avoided on your next trip.
  • FACT: The Travel Industry Association of America reported in 2007 that the U.S. tourism industry generated $1.3 trillion in the U.S. yearly, or $3.4 billion a day.
  • Step 3: Join the fun instead of merely directing it. Experience and enjoy your tour and take pride in your clients' responses to what you reveal. When travelers see you as a companion, you've done your job.
  • TIP: Take your time and don't overwhelm people with everything you know in one sentence.
  • TIP: You'll have an easier time developing a deep knowledge of the place you're touring if you have a passion for the culture there.
  • Step 4: Go beyond basic tour guide responsibilities, not only explaining itineraries, managing meals and transportation, and handling emergencies, but uncovering places off the beaten path to make the trip memorable for your tour group.
  • Step 5: Gain an encyclopedic knowledge about your subject, and learn information the group would not normally have access to. Be a font of little known facts, stories, and history that you can talk about at every location you visit.

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