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. There are about 38,780 tour and travel guides employed in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Lead tourist groups to sites of interest in the United States
Alternate Title(s) Escorts, Tour Guides
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
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

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