Tour Guiding
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Education & Career
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Tour Guiding : Eligibility

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Government of India conducts training for tour guides and upon course completion, the guide is certified and given a license. Tourist guide licenses are issued both at the state and central government level by the respective tourism departments after taking a test. Many of the states in India have made registration of tourist guides mandatory.

Ministry of Tourism provides licenses to the Regional Level tourist guides and also organizes Regional Level Guide Training Programme (RLGTP). These programmes are conducted through the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) or their chapters, or other recognized institutes in coordination with the concerned Regional Director and India tourism offices located in that region. Held once in two years, this course cover tourist aspects of the States within the region; impart fair knowledge of social, political and economic policies etc.  The course also covers the expectations, requirements and procedures involved in tour directing and guiding, as well as techniques for group management, creating and delivering interesting narration, and handling challenges that arise.

Prerequisite - Fluency in English language is a must for those joining guide training course. Graduates in any discipline from a recognized University OR three year degree holders in tourism/ Hospitality from a recognized University/ Institute OR Diploma in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology under the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi or from any other recognized Institution/ University are eligible for applying to the course. Preference would be given to candidates having knowledge and fluency in a non-English foreign language. The minimum age for joining the course is 20 years. 

The candidates are admitted to the course on the basis of a written test comprising of : 
i) Knowledge of monuments/ tourism destinations around the area
ii) Questions on history
iii) General Knowledge
Those who are scoring at least a minimum of 50 percent marks in written test will be selected for the training programme.

Duration : The guide training course will be for a period of 16 weeks including theoretical and practical training divided into two parts. Part one is 6 week classroom training followed by 10 week field work which includes a tour of one week.

On completion of the training course, a written examination and a viva voce test would be held by Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism. Candidates clearing both the tests, will be issued a Tourist guide license by the Regional India tourism Office, Government of India which will be valid only for a period of 3 years. This license should be renewed every three years and for that guides would be required to pass a refresher course. It is mandatory for licensed guides to attend the refresher course which is conducted by IITTM, initially once in three years and subsequently after every five years.

Scholars, linguists and proven experts from the fields of Indian history, architecture and culture who are interested in tour guide profession can work as part time guides. Since there is a shortage of guides speaking languages like Chinese, Russian, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Hungarian, Polish, Hebrew, etc., linguists with specialised training or expertise in these languages can become part time guides. But before certified as guides, they must have to undergo an abridged special training of 8 weeks duration.

Personal Attributes - The first and the foremost thing needed for a tour guide is an extensive knowledge of the tourist destinations, along with its local history, culture, myths, legends, route, artifacts, amenities etc. A tourist guide should be of a pleasing personality with excellent oratory and communication skills. Knowledge of any foreign language other than English will be an added advantage in this field. He/ she should be a voracious reader, a thorough researcher and always be updated with the knowledge of available facilities and services in the field. 

A tour guide need to be friendly, polite, outgoing, helpful, responsible, trustworthy and should be able to put people at ease. They should possess leadership qualities, public speaking and presentation skills, problem solving ability, organisational and time management skills, knowledge of safety procedures and relevant laws, crisis and risk management skills etc. A good guide should be curious about the surroundings and must have a craving to learn new things. A tour guide should be physically fit as they may need to do lot of physical activities like lifting heavy luggage of the tourists and so on. While traveling with a group of elderly people and small children, a good knowledge of first aid practices will be particularly essential. Overall he/she should always remain customer focused.

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