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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6531 Occupation: Tour and travel guides
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Tour and travel guides escort individuals and groups on trips, on sightseeing tours of cities and on tours of historical sites and establishments such as famous buildings, manufacturing plants, cathedrals and theme parks. They also provide descriptions and background information on interesting features. Tour and travel guides are employed by tour operators, resorts and other establishments or may be self-employed. Tour and travel guides escort individuals and groups on trips, on sightseeing tours of cities and on tours of historical sites and establishments such as famous buildings, manufacturing plants, cathedrals and theme parks. They also provide descriptions and background information on interesting features. Tour and travel guides are employed by tour operators, resorts and other establishments or may be self-employed.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read visitor guides, early in the year, and then refer to them frequently for information. (1)
  • Read interpretive guides such as language reference guides and guide books for information. (1)
  • Read newspapers and magazine articles to stay up to date on local information. (2)
  • Read a technical itinerary and a passenger itinerary and compare for discrepancies. (2)
  • Refer to company manuals. (2)
  • Read promotional materials and brochures for information about specific events. (2)
  • Read company policies and procedures when preparing for a tour, such as the dress requirements for a tour or emergency procedures. (3)
  • Read books, journals and articles to get information about local flora and fauna, history and geology for tour commentary. (3)
  • Read a variety of materials when doing research. Often this material will be summarized for passengers. Research sources may include scientific texts on specific topics, journals, trade magazines, brochures, history books, almanacs, children's books, archival books, natural history books, encyclopaedia/glossaries and health information. Also read documents taken from the Internet. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders in daily appointment books and daytimers. (1)
  • Keep a log noting facilities and attractions that may be of interest to the tour company and recording problems and highlights of the trip. (2)
  • Write a tour summary after each tour. A form is provided for this summary. (2)
  • Write tour reports and accident reports as required. (2)
  • Write research notes and a commentary for each tour. (3)
  • Write summaries of information that can be used in writing the commentary. (3)
  • Revise the writing of others for factual accuracy and for effectiveness. Also revise own writing in response to someone else's evaluation. (4)
  • Write notes and outlines for tour commentaries. Tailor prepared tour scripts to suit particular tour groups. (4)
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Document Use
  • Consult the calendar for special days. (1)
  • Keep records of expenses or money received. (1)
  • Read vouchers, coupons and travellers' cheques. (1)
  • Read luggage tags and street signs. (1)
  • Consult ferry and bus schedules. Read schedules for local attractions. Read tide tables when touring in some locations. (2)
  • Read directories, such as hotel and campground directories, telephone directories, menus, lists of tourism information centers and price lists and consult dictionaries for terminology. (2)
  • Read a wide variety of maps and map legends. Also interpret floor plans. (2)
  • Read participant lists and accommodation guides. (2)
  • Complete invoices, vouchers, credit card slips, itineraries, passenger lists and reservation forms. (2)
  • Read forms such as comment/complaint forms, hotel forms and tour operator forms. (2)
  • Complete forms such as forms to report tour expenses, incidents and accidents. (2)
  • Use currency conversion tables. (2)
  • Read tour itineraries and get information from schedules such as for the railway or airline. (2)
  • Examine bills for restaurants or accommodation and credit card receipts. (2)
  • Interpret weather tables and reports. (2)
  • Refer to atlases, city road maps, maps of attractions and floor plans, such as those for hotels and shopping centres. (2)
  • Get information from graphs, such as real estate trends. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use a database. For example, look for information on tour bookings. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, write research notes and commentaries. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, carry out research using Internet resources, or send and receive email. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Tell participants what clothing to wear and what environmental conditions to expect, for example, on glacier walks. (Adventure guides) (1)
  • Communicate with co-workers, for example, bus driver, local tour guide and supervisors, to find out about or to provide information on a tour group, location or program. (1)
  • Speak to suppliers concerning reservations or other matters, such as whether meals are included in a package. (1)
  • Make announcements to people on tours. These announcements may concern the timing of events, disruptions to the schedule, arrival and departure times, and crime prevention measures to avoid possible theft or vandalism. (2)
  • Deliver a prepared commentary during each tour. (2)
  • Communicate the tour itinerary, procedures and instructions to tour participants. (2)
  • Interact with employers, passengers, suppliers, co-workers and customs officers. (2)
  • Communicate with customs and immigration authorities in order to verify border crossing procedures and to provide information such as declarations, itineraries, hotel address lists and the number, citizenship and addresses of passengers and crew members. (2)
  • Talk to the authorities, such as the police, to ask for assistance or file a report. (2)
  • Negotiate with angry or belligerent passengers. (3)
  • Communicate safety instructions to drivers and passengers. This can include information on emergency procedures; precautions for stowing gear or reacting to dangerous wildlife and environmental dangers; and instructions about how to get on a helicopter safely or use life jackets and parachutes. (3)
  • Interact with experts when doing research. (3)
  • Provide commentary to tour participants on details of the location or site. (3)
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Money Math
  • Sell optionals and additions for tours, take payments in cash, travellers' cheques or by credit card, and give change. (1)
  • Calculate admissions, tips and taxes such as the HST. (2)
  • Pay for restaurant meals, attractions, admissions and hotels, checking the bill and calculating gratuities when appropriate. (2)
  • Add up invoices and do expense reports. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule tour events and adjust as necessary. (2)
  • Reconcile, plan and monitor use of cash float. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Count heads, seats, buses and the number of tickets for a facility. (1)
  • Convert between metric and imperial measurement. (2)
  • Convert temperatures from imperial to metric and convert foreign currency, for example, to Canadian dollars. (2)
  • Calculate the distance and time to travel to a destination. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the time of arrival at particular destinations. (2)
  • Estimate timing of tour activities. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Tour directors plan their activities within the framework of the tour itinerary; however, they also review the itinerary throughout the tour and make adjustments as required. They also respond to the needs and special requests of the tour participants. (3)
  • Tour and travel guides have a variety of work activities. When they are not leading tours, they are preparing for tours by doing paperwork, researching information or writing their commentary. They determine the order of many of their activities, within the constraint of their schedule of tours. During their tours, they often adjust the tour schedule because of delays or major disruptions. Such schedule changes may have to take into consideration events that they do not control, for example, the time of events and hours of opening and closing of facilities. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide where to take the tour group for meals and how to seat the group taking into consideration their different needs and preferences. (1)
  • Determine whether or not to delay the tour when a tour participant gets lost. (2)
  • Prepare commentary, deciding what to include in it and how to present it. (2)
  • Make decisions about leaving passengers behind. (2)
  • Decide whether or not to cancel an outdoor activity, such as a hike, when there are unfavourable weather conditions. (2)
  • Decide on schedules and routes. (2)
  • Make decisions relating to 'on the moment' changes in the tour. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Solve problems regarding lost items or lost people. (1)
  • Solve problems when accidents or incidents occur. For example, it may be necessary to figure out what to do when the Public Address system breaks down. (2)
  • Determine how best to accommodate passengers with special needs such as diabetics, children, elderly persons, visually-impaired or hearing-impaired persons or physically challenged persons. (2)
  • Resolve customer complaints regarding rooms, service, check-in and lost luggage. (2)
  • A hotel, where reservations have been made, is unable to accommodate the tour. Alternative accommodations must be found. (2)
  • Tour delays have been caused by road construction or weather conditions. Consider how this will affect the tour and respond by making adjustments to the itinerary or changing reservations, as required. (2)
  • Solve problems regarding dissatisfied customers or co-workers. (2)
  • Deal with illness and death of passengers or co-workers. (3)
  • Adjust schedules to get back on track after delays such as delays caused by construction or re-routing, or after major disruptions such as road accidents or late arrivals. (3)
  • Solve problems relating to interpersonal conflicts. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Scan booking forms to find information about a tour group, such as where they are from. (1)
  • Find route or schedule information for ferries and buses. (1)
  • Find out information and conduct research to prepare the commentary for each tour. As part of the research, go to other sites to experience them first hand. (2)
  • Research attractions and restaurants by talking to clients, co-workers and suppliers and by reading promotional information. (2)
  • Conduct technical research for specialized tours, such as tours related to forestry or farming. (3)
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