8 Reasons to Become a Tour Guide

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Here at Nightcourses.com, we got career advice from Elaine O’Reilly, the brilliant woman behind the Liberties College Tour Guiding Course. 

Are you a chatterbox? Do you love sharing titbits of knowledge with anyone who will lend you an ear? Do you enjoy giving people advice and information? Now imagine you got to do all of this and get paid. At the moment, Ireland’s tourism industry is booming. So why not put that expertise of yours to work? Perhaps you just want a fun summer job or plan on setting up your own business. Your wealth of knowledge might be in film, music, local history or geography. Here are 8 reasons to convince you to take the leap into a career as a tour guide.

Information on Tour Guide Training with Liberties College.

1. Broaden your social horizons

Becoming a tour guide is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and have friends all over the world. Whether you are guiding a bus full of tourists, leading a themed walking tour in the City Centre, or work on a historical site for the OPW – you will get to interact with a wide range of individuals. This certainly makes for a more interesting rolodex than if you still worked as an office manager.

2. Master the dreaded art of public speaking

Ask any seasoned tour guide, and they’ll tell you they’ve seen it all. In this profession, you will learn a lot about yourself and develop both leadership and interpersonal skills in a range of situations. This can be instrumental in helping you progress to senior positions in a range of professions or even take the mic at that wedding you’ve been terrified of.

3. Enjoy a captive audience

‘You’ve already told us this one!’ No one is going to groan and roll their eyes when you break out your fantastic War of Independence facts, especially not when they’ve paid and are excited about their tour. You constantly have an audience of captivated people who are eager to learn from your expert knowledge of culture, art, architecture, people, funny stories, folklore, customs, recipes etc.

4. Build that network

You’re working with – and for – like-minded people who love to travel and share their knowledge with others, so your professional network of interesting individuals is constantly growing. Not only do your colleagues have shared interests, but the people taking your tour could also provide opportunities.

5. Not a stuffy 9 – 5 job

Working as a tour guide means that no day will ever be the same. You will meet a wealth of personalities, see lots of places, travel and learn. You are always honing and developing your craft and, most importantly, you will never be stuck behind a desk for 8 hours.

6. (Mostly) happy customers

If you’re working as a tour guide, the majority of people you deal with are on holiday. Now, there’s always one person who gets out of bed on the wrong side, and likes to take their bad mood out on any available human. However, people who are on leave from work are 20% less cranky. That’s science.

7. Become an expert

When you are on the job, you are constantly being educated. You might meet local people who’ve lived through the history you bring up; you could pick up fun facts doing research or even gain insight the more you talk on a topic. The longer you work in any area, the more you learn; which certainly helps if you have to hold your own against that inevitable know-it-all.

8. Seize the Day

You’ll wear many hats during your career. Tour guides are historians, travel agents, public speakers, tour managers, conflict resolution experts and problem solvers. As a tour guide, you’ll have the opportunity to learn and see more of the world than you ever dreamed of.

Tour Guide Training at Liberties College

If you’re tempted by this course, now’s definitely the time to take that plunge. There’s a huge demand for this programme due to the vast numbers of tourists who visit Dublin and its surroundings each year. Also, Liberties College is in a unique location in the heart of the city; it’s nestled in a historically rich and culturally significant part of the capital. Presently, there’s a skills deficit in this sector. Many tourism organisations require guides and simply cannot source adequate numbers of candidates – so employment prospects for graduates are excellent. The teachers are experts in their fields and are keen to share their knowledge, experience, and wisdom.

Sounds exciting! Elaine O’Reilly holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from UCD, a Higher Diploma in Education and a Higher Diploma in Education Management (all from UCD). She was Course Director of the Travel & Tourism Course in Inchicore College for more than 20 years, where she also taught a range of business and management subjects. Nowadays, she is the Deputy Principal of Liberties College, where they currently offer the QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Award in Tourism with Business. Her ultimate plan is to run the National Tour Guiding Award, where graduates will receive the Fáilte Ireland National Tour Guiding Badge, in conjunction with the Regional Award.

Learn more about Tour Guide Training at Liberties College, administrated by Elaine or book your place now for their upcoming class.


Gemma is a nomadic writer, filmmaker, & journalist.
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