Essential Reads for Aspiring Tour Guides
The best way to prepare for becoming a tour guide is to get out and see what you can handle. However, landing a job as a rookie can be difficult. Where do you turn when you want advice and guidance but don’t yet have a job? Books, of course. Below, we have described four of our favorite books about being a guide, becoming a guide, and learning how to manage a tourism business.
How to be a Tour Guide: The Essential Training Manual for Tour Managers and Tour Guides—This is a staple in most tour guide literature. It’ll teach you what you need to say, how to advertise services, and how to get paid for the hard work you do. Designed for independent and freelance guides, this book is a great way to bridge the jump from working for a company to working for yourself. The writer, Nick Manning, has extensive guide experience, having guided tours across 15 countries. Manning also gathered other expert advice to provide a well-rounded glimpse into the world of touring.
Coming Up on Your Left: A Tour Guide’s Guidebook—Written by Joemy Wilson, this book has everything: funny stories, real-world tips, and loads of advice for current and aspiring tour guides. Wilson works as an international tour director, escorting guests to exciting destinations all over the world. For this book, she teamed up with local guides to gather and present a diverse array of tour guide experiences. You’ll get individualized destination guides, great advice, and a fun voice telling you everything you need to know.
Coaching for the World’s Best Tour Guides: Observations from the Back of the Bus—Written by the Director of Training & Development for a five-star cruise line, this book will provide the anecdotes you need to anticipate any situation while out on tour. Think of the book’s didacticism as teaching through storytelling.
Bonus! Sell More Tour: The Essential Guide to Online Marketing for Day Tour & Activity Operators—This book, though designed for tour and activity operators, will provide essential perspective on the position and importance of guides. It covers everything from website design and Google SEO tips to working on your TripAdvisor profile and the right way to use Facebook. This is also a great read for experienced guides looking to expand into the freelance and independent guide lifestyle and for those thinking about starting their own touring company.