- Lead and manage travel arrangements for those on holiday or in a business setting
- Opportunities to travel all over the world or to specialise in one area or type of tour
- Work for a travel company, as a freelancer or set up your own business
As a tour manager you'll oversee the planning and logistics of your clients' trips and make sure that everything runs smoothly for them. This role would suit someone who really enjoys travel, is highly organised, and calm under pressure.
- Welcome the tour group and telling them about the travel arrangements and stopover points
- Make sure accommodation, meals and service are satisfactory
- Help with passport and immigration issues
- Speak about places on the tour (local guides may also be used)
- Promote and sell trips
- Advise on sights, local restaurants and shops at each destination
- Record issues that may require follow-up after the tour
- Give advice
- Solve problems and deal with emergencies like loss of passports or money, illness or difficulties with accommodation
- Manage the travel arrangements for people on business
You'll be responsible for the group throughout their tour, working from early morning until late in the evening, including weekends, and you could be on call 24 hours a day.
You could work full-time for a travel company or become freelance, working from tour to tour. The work can often be seasonal, with more jobs available during holiday periods.
There are no set requirements, but you'll need the ability to get on well with people of all ages and backgrounds, good working knowledge of one or more foreign languages is useful, the ability to deal calmly with emergencies, plus good organisational and time management skills.
You'll be expected to have a good standard of general education, a friendly personality and a smart appearance.
You'll also need an interest in the history and culture of the places you'll be visiting.
You could gain experience in the travel industry before moving into tour management, like as a tour guide, resort rep or travel agent.
If you want to gain a qualification you could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like travel and tourism management, although this isn't essential. Or you could take a college course like a Level 4 Diploma in Tourism Management or a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship.
You may need foreign language skills if you want to work overseas.
With experience, you could become a tour operations manager or specialise in particular areas, like food and drink breaks, adventure holidays or business travel. You could also set up your own tour business.