How to Start a Tour Guide Business

In cities, towns and rural regions where there are many historic sites or other sites of interest to tourists, there is a desperate need for the help of tourist guides. After all, visitors to the area want to see everything of interest to make the most of their visit. A tourist guide business can bring your home a very good income provided you do the job with passion and hard work. 

Market OpportunityTourist Guide
Investment Low – moderate
Essential requirements Good communication skills, knowledge of area
Potential earnings Pretty good

Knowledge is key

You don’t need to have any specific training to be able to start a tour guide business. If you live in the area you already have the requisite skills – knowledge of the area. You do need to be pleasant and be able to talk to people. You should create a brochure of some sort to give guidance to the tourists in each group. Along with being able to give the visitors information pertaining to each site, you should also develop a repertoire of interesting and amusing facts and stories so that you keep them fully entertained.

Startup costs 

The cost of getting started as a tour guide depends on the way in which you want to conduct your business and the area you want to concentrate on.

If you provide walking tours of a section of the city or town, the only investment you will have to make is in good footwear. This will certainly keep you in shape as you conduct several walking tours a day.

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If the sites you want to include in your tour are some distance apart, then you may want to invest in a small bus that can take 20 or more passengers at one time. Along with the cost of the purchase, you have to make sure you have adequate insurance for the vehicle and a driver’s license that permits you to carry passengers.

Advertising your business

There are many cost-efficient ways of advertising your tour guide business. Tourist information centers have bulletin boards where you can post the times of the tours and your telephone so that visitors can call to book the tour. This is necessary because it would be hard to handle a very large group.

When you have a small printed brochure about the tour guide services that you offer, you can place them in many locations free of charge. Airports have a section for tourists and all hotels allow you to place your brochures in the lobby. Bed and breakfast locations also have information about the area for their guests and by utilizing these locations you will have a steady list of people wanting to take the tour.

Potential Earnings

The usual length of a tour of this nature is about two hours and the standard fee is about $20 per person. You can offer special rates for groups or families. With a group of 20 in a tour, you have the potential of earning $400 for a two-hour period, so even if you offer only one hour a day, you will be able to make a lot of money. The cost of a tour will probably be higher if you have a driving tour.

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