A tourist guide job is an exhilarating and rewarding way of sharing your love for travel, seeing the world and learning the culture and history of people from different countries and regions.
This job is appealing if you desire to travel and meet people of different cultures, but it’s beneficial to learn and understand how the industry works and how you can qualify for the job.
Improve your chances of being hired as a tourist guide by meeting all qualifications and becoming certified and pursuing a relevant degree.
In this article, we discuss the role of a tour guide and how to become a tour guide in Nigeria.
What is a tourist guide?
Tourist guides are professionals who are certified and licensed to lead others on tours or trips. Tourist guides, also referred to as local guides, tour leaders or cultural interpreters, act as ambassadors of their countries because they are often the first to welcome tourists and the last to bid them farewell.
Tour leaders guide visitors and offer information about historical, cultural and religious sites like museums and other tourist attractions. The best guides are savvy and understand the regions where they work. For example, on historical or cultural sightseeing tours, the guides are able to provide tourists with interesting information because they are familiar with the sites. Most tour guides work on pre-established routes and visit selected locations. The tours they organize can be performed on foot or from buses.
What does a tourist guide do?
Tour guides help travelers visit attraction sites they are unfamiliar with. The guides organize trips with tourist groups to show the travelers essential sites and areas. With their knowledge of the local regions, tourist guides provide valuable information to tourists. Here are the roles and responsibilities of tour leaders:
- Attending briefing meetings to learn essential details concerning tour groups. The data they receive about a tour group may include the specific needs of the tourists, the interests of the group and the rough age group.
- Welcoming and greeting the tourists before they start the tour. The welcome session may entail learning the names of the tourists, memorizing the faces of the group and confirming the number of tourists in the group.
- Explaining emergency procedures to the tourists
- Providing tourists with promotional and educational materials about the sites they are to visit
- Escorting the individual or tourist groups
- Informing the travelers about the tour routes
- Planning tour routes according to the length of tour and the weather forecast
- Scheduling the trips and purchasing required tickets to tourist sites such as museums, parks, galleries, etc.
- Finding alternative activities in case of closure, cancellation or inclement weather
- Acquiring and maintaining required tour equipment
- Familiarizing tourists with regions and establishments
- Providing safety devices
- Translating and interpreting as needed
- Handling health emergencies
How to become a tourist guide in Nigeria
If you are interested in becoming a tour guide in Nigeria, you have to understand what it takes and the process of qualifying for the job. Here are the steps of becoming a licensed tour guide in Nigeria:
1. Determine if you actually want to be a tour guide
Getting paid to travel and visit fascinating sites can be enticing, but it’s important to have realistic expectations. Becoming a tour leader does not mean that you get a permanent vacation. The field is competitive and requires people who are good at networking and hardworking. Conduct thorough research to learn about the requirements to become a tour guide, then evaluate whether you possess the necessary skills and want to enter this field.
2. Determine the guiding job you want
After deciding that you want to be a tour guide, think of the type of tour guide you want to become. Consider your passions and interests, and think about whether you wish to work in your hometown or relocate to another tourist destination. Also, look for tour work that will fit into your schedule. The following are a few different types of tour jobs to consider:
- Walking tour leader: Walking tour guides work within a specific region and understand the region’s history. These tour guides take travelers through various tourist sites along the way.
- Bus city guides: Bus guides, also known as motorcoach guides, do their work on buses. Using microphones, they narrate stories about the city to tourists as the bus drives past attractions.
- Museum guides: Museum guides take tourists through museums, discussing and explaining the history of the art and exhibits.
- Adventure guides: Adventure guides accompany tourists on more intense tours, such as hiking or rafting in an exotic location or a national park. If you are interested and have a passion for outdoor activities, this can be the ideal type of tour job for you.