What to Look for When Hiring a Tour Guide

Last Updated August 18, 2017

So you just hired a tour guide and are slowly regretting that decision. Or perhaps you’re staring at a pile of resumes and have no idea how to separate the great from the not-so-great, nor do you have the time. As your partner we understand the struggle. Finding a tour guide with all of the right ingredients that best represent your company, is a tedious task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To take some of the pressure off, we have compiled a list of qualities that can be used as a guideline during your hiring process.

Quality #1: Professionalism

There’s nothing worse than being in a foreign country and having your tour guide show up
late, or worse, not show up at all! A tour guide who is on time paves the way for a
memorable experience.

Did they show up on time for your interview? Were they early?

Someone who is organized will give you the peace of mind in knowing that any tasks that
you have delegated to them, will be executed precisely and effectively.

Is their resume structured using correct headers and spacing or are things jumbled and
look as though it was thrown together last minute?

Sensitive to Group Needs
A tour guide should always be one step ahead of their guests and have the ability to adapt
and accommodate. Give them scenarios and see how they would respond. Can they adapt
to any given circumstance? Are they resourceful and capable of being prepared before a
situation arises?

Prepared for Medical Emergencies
Guides should be prepared for any medical emergency and have the correct training and
certifications to handle them accordingly.

Quality #2: Knowledgeable

“This landmark was founded in 1802”, said Tour Guide.
“But I thought you said it was founded in 1920?”, replied Guest.

Guests are not only paying for the food; they are also paying for the experience. It helps to
have a tour guide that knows what they’re talking about.

How familiar are they with the area and the food beforehand? What knowledge and
resources do they bring to the table?

The more well-versed in different languages a guide is, the better!

Know Audience
As mentioned previously, a guide who can adapt to any given crowd is priceless.
What experience do they have working with young people? The elderly?

Quality #3: Personality

It isn’t enough to simply regurgitate facts and information. A tour guide needs to be able
to captivate their audience and always aim to hold their attention for the entire duration
of the tour. Are you engaged when you speak to them, or are you thinking about what
you’re going to make for dinner that night?

Leadership Skills
Be confident! Having a plan for the group and executing it with ease and confidence will
keep your guests interested.

What experience do they have in positions of leadership? Supervisor? Management?

Good Sense of Humour
There is nothing more endearing than someone who can put a smile on your face.

Seeks Feedback
Someone who seeks feedback cares about your guests and is always looking for a way to
enhance their experience. What is one piece of positive feedback they have received in
the past as well as negative?

Popular Articles

E-Certificates: Strategy, Fees, and Policy

The COVID-19 crisis had hit the travel, tourism, and events industries in unimaginable ways. The viability of your business depends on making difficult decisions and finding some way to generate revenue. A robust E-Certificate strategy is the best immediate way to mitigate losses and generate some revenue. To help better serve you and your guests, […]

Read More

Activity Operator Confessions

Meet Christine, an activity operator with a couple problems. She’s working hard to keep guests happy while growing a tour business on her own, and it’s pretty tough. Visitors love her experiences, but she has a few big picture problems to tackle if she really wants to meet her goals.   Connect with some guy […]

Read More

New E-Certificate Upgrades

Out with the old, in with the new! Our E-certificates have undergone a facelift and learned some new tricks just in time for holiday giving. These additional features, combined with a polished new look are certain to enhance the online guest experience. So, whats new? New look We’ve given the E-Cert purchasing process a facelift. It will […]

Read More

Show More