A tour guide is a mirror for the tourists, as she/he presents a place before the tourists in a beautiful way. Tour guide can be a good career option for those who love exploring heritage, culture, and nature.

Career as Tour Guide

One of the easiest modes of entertainment is traveling. Traveling has become very easy these days. The growth of travel and tourism industry has opened up many job opportunities. Career as a tour guide is preferred mostly by young aspirants. The job of a travel/tourist guide is both remunerative and challenging. An efficient tourist guide can make any place look beautiful and captivating to the tourists. However for achieving this, he must uphold the cultural traditions and heritage of the place, along with social customs and even local legends. A travel guide must have extensive knowledge of the popular tourist destinations particularly those associated with art, architecture, and culture. Possessing a pleasing personality and the ability to entertain tourists of any age group is always an added advantage for students opting for tourist guide as a career.

Course Details
Tour guide training courses are conducted by the Tourism Offices of Government of India, held in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. Only graduates from any stream are eligible to apply for tour guide courses. After the completion of the course, the guide is certified and given a license. Apart from this, Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM) also offers short-term courses for graduates. Tourist guide license is issued both at the state and central level by the Tourism Department after conducting a test, depending on their needs. Also, there are Tourism and Travel Administration/Management courses offered by several institutes.

Career Prospects
One can build a career as a tourist guide in both public and private sector organizations. Tour guides can find job opportunities in tourism departments and tourism directorates of the union and state governments. They can also work in the private sector with travel agencies and tour operators. Apart from these professions, good prospects also lie with airlines, hotels, and transport services. Tour guides can work as travel journalists, travel writers, and freelance tour guides too. Self employment is a good option in this sector. Generally, after gaining adequate experience and recognition in an established travel agency, agents usually start their own firms.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Tourism courses are becoming more and more popular day by day. To cope with the growing demands of tour guides, several institutes are offering training courses for them. These are the Government of India Tourist Offices; Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Gwalior; Kurukshetra University, Haryana; Delhi University, Delhi; Vikram University, Madhya Pradesh; Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati; Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu; SNDT University, Mumbai; Meghalaya Tourism Department, Shillong; and MS University, Baroda.

To put it in precise terms, a tourist guide's profession is endowed with immense potentials. Travel guiding is a field, where initial struggle does pay rich dividends. Earnings of tour guides vary depending on skills, abilities, professionalism, and customer satisfaction. Regional tour guides may charge anywhere from Rs. 400 and above for an eight hour day. They may earn between Rs. 30,000 - 40,000, and even more, in the 3-4 months of tourist peak season.

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