Inbound Tour Guides

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. 

Quick Facts
Duties Plan the itinerary for any length visit; learn and deliver entertaining and informative talking points about the site or location being visited; arrange for possible meals and all necessary travel; make recommendations and answer questions for tourists; possibly handle payments for the excursions, promotion, bookings, and updates for those signed up for a tour
Alternate Title(s) Escorts, Tour Guides
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Large cities and historical areas, but opportunities exist in all regions
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Foreign Language
  • History
  • Speech
Experience Six months to a year volunteer experience at tour site; on-the-job training
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
  • Public Speaking
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements Physical fitness for long hours walking and speaking
Career Ladder
  • Tour Company Owner
  • Tour Business Development Specialist
  • Tour Guide
  • Volunteer Guide

Related Industries