Tour Guiding: Tourism is a multifaceted activity. It is the sum total of travel of non-resident to some unusual place not for employment and resident ship. India has always lived by the mantra ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’. Fahien, Huein Tsang, Ibn Battuta have been some of the most celebrated visitors to ancient India.  Domestic tourism too flourished as old and young, rich and poor all undertook religious pilgrimages, too far corners of the country.  Tour guiding is an age old profession.  It has changed a lot with the time and with the change in the type and mode of travel. In the present context tour guide is a person who assists, interprets, communicates and coordinates with the tourist. 

Tour Guiding is an old age profession. In history, there is a mention of tour guides. But, it became a recognized field only after the introduction of mass tourism. Tour packages became the product and it became imperative to have a tour guide with the group. Earlier, it was a customized activity and tour guides were hired keeping in mind the help needed for finding accommodation, food and meeting objectives behind travelling. 

In India, tour guiding (as a professional activity) started after independence, when government felt the requirement of tour guides at tourists’ places and introduced the provisions for a guiding license. 

Still, people perceive that tourism sector’s most identifiable job is tour guiding. Tour guide is the person who collects information from a number of resources and passes on the same in interesting manner to clients. Tour guide also takes care of tourists.  

Historical perspective vis a vis tour guiding. 

It was a well known job. Many people serve as guide to help tourists/ travellers/ visitors from other places.  The status of tour guiding differs country to country. 

  • United States of America (USA)  

A tour guide provides relevant information, assistance to the individual tourists or a tour group. This information is about culture, history, heritage etc

  • Europe and Pacific

Tour guides here are represented by the Federation of Tourist Guides Association. In Australia, tour guides need to have achieved a minimum of certificate III in tour guiding. According to CEN, a European advisory committee for standardization, a tour guide is a someone who accompany, inform (off course guide) in the language of tourists as well as interpret culture and heritage.  The tour manager is a person who manages and supervises the itinerary (travel details) on behalf of the tour operator/ Travel Company. 

Also read Role of a Tourist Guide