Life On The Job: Tour Coordinator

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Jagan Panisinar
Tour Coordinator, KPS Travels
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Jagan works around the world, and would like to share with our readers how to excel at doing it.

What will I do?

A tour guide needs to be alert and punctual at all times. He or she needs to be ahead of the group of tourists he or she is leading to arrange everything from checking in at the airport to conducting head counts.

Is it for me?

Being a tour guide is not as easy as it seems. Firstly, ask yourself, can you handle all the hard work like carrying luggage as well as handling every tourists’ needs and complaints the proper way? Are you outgoing enough to entertain your group of tourists during long bus rides to certain destinations? If you answered yes, then you are the right person for this job.

What is a day in the life of a tour guide like?

If you’re overseeing a group of tourists leaving to a certain country, you will need to reach the airport hours earlier than them. You will have to wait until everyone reaches and then settle the group check-in for them. Throughout the trip, you will need to make sure everyone is in a group and that nobody is lost. You must also do your best to answer their questions and help them with all their needs (some will even turn up to you complaining that the shower in their hotel room is not hot enough or that there are no towels!). You will also be required to co-operate with the tour leader provided by your company’s agent in other countries.

How much will I earn?

Working as a tour guide does not earn you big bucks. However, you will gain priceless experiences. For starters, the basic salary will be roughly around RM1,000 to RM1,500 excluding tips and allowances given by your customers and company. Once you gain more experience, your salary will rise accordingly.

Specialisations

Strong knowledge in history as well as strong interpersonal skills are needed. A tour guide needs to have a strong command of as many languages as possible in order to communicate well with customers. Sometimes, you may earn good cash for being good in languages. Geographical knowledge is important too, as you have to introduce different places of interest and their features as well.

A word of advice

Don't neglect knowledge, as it will be the best weapon for you to attain success and earn big bucks.