For operators, finding a guide who has the right balance of experience, passion and reliability isn’t easy. Most experienced guides are seasonal travellers themselves and new guides need experience to learn from. In this blog post, you will learn more about the people who are the face of the business.
We will draw insights from our 2018 Tourism Survey, based on the answers from 786 tour and activity operators located in 112 countries, with approximately 7,225 tour guides.
What type of staff are hired?
From the results we can see that most permanent employees of tour and activity companies tend to work part-time hours, with a lower number of full-time staff. This is usually due to seasonality and also that most companies in this sector are small, run by one or two full-time staff.
Which continent do tour and activity guides come from?
Our participant companies are located around the world, but still a clear majority of guides are European (37.5%). This is followed by South America (17.8%), Asia (16.3%) and North America (13.8%), Africa (9.8%) and Australia (4.7%).
What percentage of guides are female?
With the discussion of the gender pay gap and companies employing less females in
various industries, we wanted to know what the split was for our sector.
Interestingly, in Interlaken where we are based, there is a strong demand for female guides in response to the growing number of visitors from the Middle East. These travellers would like to participate in adventure activities, but do not feel comfortable jumping off a cliff or getting into a kayak with a guide of the opposite sex.
On average, how much experience do our guides have?
Experience wins when it comes to the hiring guides. 47% of guides working in the industry have over 5 years of experience, followed closely by 3-5 years (24%) and 1-3 years (23%). Guides with less than a year of experience accounted for just 5%.
For those who are looking to become guides and have little to no experience, some
destination are offering initiatives to those who are passionate about their city to
become tour guides under their own accreditation. You can find out with the The
European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG).