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How to become a Tourist guide in India? Choose Tourism as a career option

Updated on August 9, 2017


Tourism is one sector which is often viewed as a passive, leisurely activity. What most people don’t realize is the sector’s potential to provide a career to a large number of people and the commercial opportunities associated with it. I am writing this hub to throw light on the numerous opportunities that tourism sector can provide to the youth of India. First, let’s check this out. The share of tourism in India’s GDP is growing day by day and is expected to touch $6 billion by 2018. The share of tourist arrivals is steadily increasing year by year reaching more than 8 million tourists in 2016. With the Indian government’s push for industry and India’s growing name as an affordable medical destination, the avenues of Medical and business tourism is expected to grow heavily in future. Being a tourist guide is a lucrative profession in India. One can also earn commission from tourism agents.

There are job opportunities for tourist guides in various state tourist development corporations like Himachal Pradesh tourism corporation, Tamilnadu tourism development corporation, UP tourism development corporation etc. Self employment opportunities are also many. You could start your own tourism agency and employ people.

So why many youth don’t choose Tourism as a career? I wish they read the above prospects associated with tourism industry.

The government of India ( Ministry of Tourism) regognises tourist guides and provides Tourist Guide licence based on their knowledge - categorized into four viz, General, General-Linguistic, Expert and Expert-Linguistic as per the Regional Tourist Guide scheme.



Language (Linguistic) skills

If you know foreign languages like French, German, Russian etc it would be an added advantage as you could guide and educate foreign tourists. These category of linguistic guides are the most sought after and well paid. So if you have undergone a certificate course in a foreign language, you can choose Tourism as a career.


Education qualification for a tourist guide

There is no specialization for a tourist guide. Any degree from a recognized university is all that is needed. But degree in tourism or diploma in archaeology will be an added advantage. Apart from this, fluency in English language is essential.

Expert guides will have to possess a doctorate in tourism, History, wildlife etc in order to become a government recognized guide.

For more information, you could visit the ministry site https://india.gov.in/guidelines-grant-guide-licence-regional-level-tourist-guides

Athithi Devo Bhava:

'Athithi Devo Bhava' scheme was devised by the govt of India to improve the treatment of foreign tourists. It aims to sensitize all the stakeholders like police, taxidrivers, guides etc through orientation training and change their attitude to better take care of tourists coming to India.

Further, the indirect employment provided by tourism sector through allied activities are many ex, Transport, Hotels, Aesthetics, entertainment etc. Rural folk especially women benefit a lot from it. Many foreign tourists prefer ‘Home stay’ as India is renowned for its hospitality, peace and warmth and its tradition of welcoming guests. Village people can provide ‘Home stays’ in their own homes and offer a real Indian life experience to foreign tourists

Degree courses in Tourism

Indian institute of Tourism and travel management (IITTM) offers education, research and training in tourism and allied sectors. Apart from this, private agencies also offer recognized degree courses. The renowned Tourism agency Thomas Cook offers a MBA programme in Tourism. Undergraduates in other disciplines can pursue this programme

Below are some of the universities/colleges offering Tourism courses in India:

Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar - MBA in tourism

UEI Global, Agra - MBA in tourism

Blue Whale Academy, Mumbai - B Sc in Tourism and Hospitality

TMI Academy, Delhi - Diploma in Travel and Tourism

NIMS University, Jaipur - B Sc in Tourism

KLE Society Nijalingappa college, Bangalore

Gems B school, Bangalore

Excellency group of institutions, Hyderabad

Skylark institute of Travel, Delhi

Start your own tourism Agency

If you don’t wish to work under anyone, you can start your own agency and employ people to work under you. For this, you will need to work as a guide for some time to gain knowledge. Once you gain adequate experience, you can provide end-to-end service like Transport, sight-seeing, accommodation and guiding. You may outsource certain activities like transport to another agency or company. This way you could make much more money than you could as an individual tourist guide.

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