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10 qualities every good tour guide needs

10 qualities every good tour guide needs

Being a tour guide is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You get to do for a living what others only get to do on vacation, you get to meet amazing people from all over the world and you get to marvel at some awe-inspiring sites on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean to say it’s easy…

Being a tour guide is also a very challenging job and one that isn’t for everybody.


We have included 3 of the characteristics you should have to be a good guide. To view all 10, download our useful checklist here:

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1. You need to be charismatic

While there’s only one tour guide, there can numerous people on a tour, from 2 to 5 to 20 or more. Each and every person on your tour is looking for information and more importantly, entertainment, from their guide for the most part of a day. As a result, a tour guide needs charisma. Lots and lots of charisma.

Charisma can come naturally… but it can also come with practice. Every day on tour, look for opportunities to charm your group. Also, think about opportunities before you embark on tours and experiment with them during the tour to figure out tactics to delight your crowd. 


2. You need to be knowledgeable

You can be the most charismatic tour guide in the world, but if you don’t know your stuff then you’ll lose your audience. A tour guide’s job is, among other things, to know exactly what they’re talking about. This means facts, figures and anything else somebody on a tour might throw at them.

Make sure you’re clued up on everything you need to know and, whenever you answer a question thrown at you by somebody on your tour, think about how you’ve answered it and if you can respond better the next time.



3. You need to be a good communicator

If you’re extremely knowledgeable and equally charismatic, but you don’t interact with your group, it’s going to make them feel like they’re following their history teacher around. It will also feel like it’s all one-way in terms of communication.

Vacations aren’t about sitting and listening to other people – they’re about chatting and meeting people. This could be fellow travellers or the people guiding them on tours or activities. Make sure to engage with the people you’re guiding and give them one more person to remember their trip by.


Find out the 10 qualities that every tour guide should have:

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Colm Hanratty
Posted by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.
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