Popular Tour Guiding Skills: Definition And Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Tour guides are professionals working in the hospitality and travel industry. They require various skills to provide beneficial information and engaging experience to people. Learning these skills can be rewarding to candidates who want to become tour guides. In this article, we explore some popular tour guiding skills, learn how to develop them and review some steps to highlight these skills when seeking a tour guide position.

What are tour guiding skills?

Tour guiding skills are abilities that professionals working in the tourism industry require to guide visitors around places of interest. Tour guides use these skills to help visitors explore the places they are visiting and provide them with important information about the place. Tour guides often work in museums, historical landmarks, parks and cities. They require several skills like research and good communication to help visitors learn more about the location.

Tour guides use a combination of soft and hard skills to become well-informed about the locations they cover. The job of tour guides also requires them to provide different types of tours such as bus, walking or boat tours. Tour guides use their skills to deliver a memorable and enjoyable tour experience to visitors.

Read more: 15 Popular Jobs In Tourism (With Salary And Primary Duties)

Examples of tour guide skills

Tour guides require a diverse set of skills to perform their primary duties. Here are some essential skills to develop as a tour guide:

Communication skills

The primary duty of tour guides involves communicating with various types of people. With the help of good communication and active listening, tour guides can easily convey important information to the visitors. They provide clear and concise instructions to the group of people and help them understand safety regulations. Tour guides often require a good knowledge of English as they may interact with foreign tourists.

They also know how to effectively convey their message in case of any emergency. For example, if a tourist gets separated from their group, tour guides can take appropriate action and clearly communicate the details of the situation. Good communication skill allows tour guides to form sentences in an easy-to-follow manner.

Time management

Many museums or other tourist places offer a specified length of touring to visitors. Tour guides use that time efficiently to provide all the necessary information about the place to tourists. Time management skills also help them to guide multiple groups of people around places of interest in a day. Tour guides can improve their time management by developing a system and diligently following it.

Decision-making can also help tour guides to prioritise tasks depending on their importance. Punctual tour guides can arrive on time and be ready to start the tour according to the schedule. Punctuality can also allow tour guides to leave a good impression on clients. With time management skills, tour guides can make their day less stressful.

Research skills

To provide accurate information about a tourist place, tour guides may require a good knowledge of the routes and history of that place. Strong research skills help tour guides learn more about the place and prepare to answer different types of questions on the subject. They research and gain the necessary information to educate and direct visitors. Professional tour guides require research skills to become familiar with several tourist sites in their region. Tour guides who know the entire well can provide an insightful and memorable trip to visitors.

Read more: 14 Types Of Travel And Tourism Jobs (Duties And Salary)

Adaptability

Tour guides often change their approach depending on the situation and clients. They may improvise when necessary. Adaptability can help tour guides to remain up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in the tourism industry. They may adopt new ways to keep tourists entertained and interested during the trip. Tour guides often improvise their normal tour and add new information when necessary. Developing adaptability can also help them to change their tone or wording to make visitors feel comfortable and interested in listening for the duration of the tour.

Sense of humour

A sense of humour can help tour guides deliver engaging and entertaining touring experiences to visitors. Many tour guides use their sense of humour to present the information in an entertaining way. It can also help tourists quickly understand the necessary details about the place. Tour guides can create a fun environment and encourage tourists to ask questions during the tour. They know how and when to use jokes during a conversation.

Read more: Types Of Public Speaking Skills And How To Improve Them

Confidence

Tour guides require confidence to speak for an extended duration among larger groups. With confidence, they can easily address tourists without feeling any pressure. Candidates who wish to become tour guides can benefit from gaining confidence. It can also help them keep everyone on track. They may also require confidence in solving any unexpected challenges during the tour. Along with confidence, tour guides can use their innovative thinking and strong analytical skills to fix the situation with limited time and resources.

Storytelling

To convey information about a place in an interesting way, tour guides can also use their storytelling skills. They can tell the historical significance of a tourist place through stories. Storytelling skills can help tour guides organise the information they want to share into a narrative that is easy to understand. Instead of memorising and reciting facts, you can tell engaging stories to visitors.

Tips to improve tour guide skills

Here are some tips you can consider to improve your tour guide skills:

Gain knowledge

Tour guides share important information about the tourist places with visitors. Gaining knowledge of the information they are presenting can help tour guides gain the attention of visitors. It can also help you easily answer any questions of tourists. You can study the materials and learn about geographical and historical information related to the place. Many tour guides research using various resources and books to understand the information. In general, tour guides with more knowledge can provide an excellent tour performance.

Practise the tour

Tour guides can enhance their skills by practising the tour with their family or friends. You can give the tour to your family or friends and ask for their feedback. You can also analyse if you are able to convey all the necessary information to them. Identifying areas of improvement can help you make necessary changes or adjustments to your tour performance. In addition, it can also give an idea of the types of questions people may ask during the tour.

Read more: How To Prepare For The “What Is Your Dream Job?” Question

Learn from expert tour guides

Fresher tour guides can improve their skills by learning from experienced guides. Examine the tour performance of other guides and identify things they do to make the trip interesting. It can help you learn new ideas and techniques to engage visitors. Tour guides can also improve their skills by receiving feedback from other guides and tourists.

Read more: How To Show You Are A Quick Learner While Applying For A Job

Tour guide skills in the workplace

Here is how tour guides can use their skills in the workplace:

  • Planning trips: Tour guides can research and find all the information about a location to plan trips for tourists. They can use their navigation and time management skills for planning trips.

  • Delivering safety guidelines: The job of tour guides may involve addressing safety rules or regulations during a tour. They use their communication, critical thinking and attention to detail skills to help visitors understand the rules.

  • Answering questions: Tour guides may use their knowledge and communication skills to answer the questions of tourists. They may use their sense of humour skills to provide accurate and engaging answers to visitors.

  • Finding closed exhibits: Tour guides use their research skills to find any closed exhibit during a tour. In such cases, they may use their improvisational skills to assist the tour group.

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