Inbound Tour Guides

Tour Group Visiting Mesa Verde National Park

Tour guides (sometimes called escorts) lead groups of people to sites of interest. Specifically, those leading short excursions to famous American destinations are called inbound tour guides. Inbound tours may last a few hours or overnight. Guides provide an important service to the travel and tourism industry by promoting their specific area. New York, the top travel destination for foreign travelers, has more than 100 tour operators. Some define inbound tourism as guiding people from other destinations through an area or site in your locale rather than outbound tourism where a person is planning travel or tourism details for a trip to another location or foreign country. There are about 38,740 tour and travel guides employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Escorts, Tour Guides
Duties Lead tourist groups to sites of interest in the United States
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Large cities and historical areas, but opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Foreign Language
  • History
  • Speech
Experience Six months to a year volunteer experience at tour site; on-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
  • Public Speaking
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Physical fitness for long hours walking and speaking
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Tour Company Owner
  • Tour Business Development Specialist
  • Tour Guide
  • Volunteer Guide

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