Those outside the industry might not realize just how tough a private tour guide’s job is. A professional guide has to prepare their tour, keep their clients safe, and be responsible for the tourists’ enjoyment of the area.
Still, many tour guides actually love their occupation and enjoy the experience of extolling their region’s virtues to outsiders. If you’re one of them, there are several challenges you must be facing. Let’s take a look at some examples and how you can overcome them as a tourist guide:
“A professional guide has to
prepare their tour, keep their
clients safe, and be responsible
for the tourists’ enjoyment.”
1. Create Unique Experiences
When tourists visit a place for the first time, they’re awed by the beautiful and interesting locations. For a tour guide, however, these sights are something they experience every single day. With even the most wondrous displays becoming monotonous, it can be a challenge to work as a unique tour guide.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your dialogue unique and interesting, even to yourself. Research your city, town, or specific region and discover them all over again. You might also want to stay alert about the current trends, upcoming locations, and happening events in order to stay excited. This will also delight the tourists themselves, so they’ll recommend you to everyone they know.
Another good idea is to know your own interests. If you’re a foodie, for instance, you’ll be more interested in finding out about restaurants, little-known cafes, or tours of nearby farms. Focus on your interest, and you’ll be able to create a specialized tour that tourists will covet from far and wide.
2. Obtain The Customers
If you’re new at this job, it might be challenging to get those essential first customers. In order to get past this hurdle, you need to use the tools at your disposal.
One of the most important tools is that of networking. Use your social skills to interact with different people, including small entrepreneurs, food truck owners, passionate museum curators, etc. The more people know you, the more they’re likely to recommend as the best tour guide in town.
You also want to hop online and use social media to the best of your abilities. Create your profile on a few well-chosen platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Keep this updated on a regular basis, and make sure to ask for reviews as well as feedback.
3. Set A Proper Budget
Being a private tour guide will give you a lot of independence, but it will also mean that your flow of income stops if you cease working. The income isn’t steady, so you should take steps to prepare for some inevitabilities.
One important step here is to create several bank accounts. One could be for your everyday expenses, another for your savings, and another for short-term emergencies. You can also make a separate account for your taxes alone.
4. Get Rid Of Any Work-Related Injury
A tour guide might have to visit several historical sites in the course of a single day. Not all of these are well-maintained, so the risks of an accident go up. Other accident risks include getting injured by muggers who make the tourists their target, or collisions when you’re in a tourist’s vehicle.
The rates of on the job injury in Portland are quite high, so you have to take proper care when working as a tourist guide. You may have to think about hiring a private security guard for yourself and your clients. In any case, you should have a first-aid kit on hand at all times, along with a charged cell phone and a list of emergency numbers.
From the discussion above, we now know that a private guide’s job is far from easy. They have a brand to develop and maintain, so they need to stand out and perform well every single time. If you’re one of them, make sure to take precautions while building up your career.
Have you worked as an outdoor tourist guide?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.