India is a land of heritage. Our culture is so deep-rooted that there are hundreds of relics to prove the same. Be it the valour of the kings and their kingdoms of the Rajputs of Rajasthan or the ruins of Nalanda in Bihar, Indian culture has never failed to keep us in awe. Considering the sheer number of stories and folklore of the land, it is our duty as a nation to preserve the same and ensure that the world gets to know of the same. It is also our responsibility to ensure that the next generation of Indians grows up with a thorough understanding of our past. It is only when they understand the magnitude of the situation will they be able to preserve the same for centuries to come.
It is the responsibility of the tour guides to ensure that they explain the history of the land in a way that will make visitors appreciate the same. Now having established the importance of tour guides in the preservation of the history and archaeology of the land, if you feel that this is the career for you, do not hesitate to take the plunge. This article talks about the career potential of tour guides in the country.
• Educational Background
This is one field that does not require high-end educational qualifications. Having a high school degree should suffice. However, you need to be interested in the history of the land and be willing to learn more about the same. Most tour guides are given vocational training on the heritage site they are going to show people.
You should be ready to put in the best of efforts and learn all that you are taught during these training sessions if you want to make it big as a tour guide.
• Skills Required
A tour guide is someone who is responsible for showing people around a place. In order to be able to do justice to the job, a tour guide must have a good sense of direction. They cannot afford to get lost when they themselves are leading a group of people. In order to make the tourists comfortable and at ease with the environment, a tour guide must be an extrovert and have an outgoing personality.
They must have a good sense of humour and be enthusiastic about their job. A sharp memory and a thorough knowledge of the history of the land is an absolute must when it comes to being a good tour guide. When dealing with foreign tourists, it is important to be punctual and make sure that you do not keep them waiting.
• Scope Of Career Growth
Starting off as a tour guide, you learn about the challenges of the game. Over the years, you utilise the same and climb up the ladder. You can become tour coordinators and holiday organisers. These type of jobs are highly coveted as there is a new challenge everyday.
To be a tour guide in any place in India, you need to have good communication skills in Hindi and English apart from knowing the local language. However, if you can learn a couple of other foreign languages (like French, Spanish or German) you will find yourself having an upper edge and your career will progress.
Talking of the recruiters in this profession, there are immense scope and job opportunities both in the government as well as the private sectors. Almost all sites of historical importance have been taken over by the government of India. On behalf of the same, the Archaeological Survey of India employs tour guides to show tourists around the place.
In the private sectors, groups like Club Mahindra or SOTC organise trails and excursions wherein a tour guide is given the responsibility to show people around a place. Palaces that belong to royal families also organise tours for their guests and tour guides are employed for the same. Thus, if you are really good at what you do, there is no dearth of job opportunities in this field.
The salary that you take home as a tour guide depends greatly on the place you work in and the number of hours you put in. As per reports issued by the Department of Tourism (Government of India), the average salary of a tour guide in India is Rs 25,000. However, this figure varies from place to place. Those working in the private sector (particularly people associated with luxury travel companies) are paid much higher.
• Working Conditions And Challenges
On a positive note, the working hours of tour guides rarely expand beyond 6 in the evening or before 9 in the morning. However, in the course of the day, these people may have to brave extreme weather conditions. Their job often involves a lot of walking about and sometimes, in the course of organising excursions spanning for days, they may find themselves travelling a lot and spending minimal or no time at home.
However, the rewards in this profession are also enormous. You get to interact with new people everyday. Since most of the people you interact with come from a wide array of different backgrounds, you end up learning a lot about their way of life which, in turn, broadens your perspective on life.
Thus, if you are someone who is passionate about learning and you want to experience the most of it living in the comfort of your city, then this is the career for you.