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tour guide sign up

3,704 tour guide sign stock photos & high-res pictures, browse 3,704 tour guide sign photos and images available, or search for tour guide sign up to find more great photos and pictures..

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tour guide sign

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  • Custom Tour Guide Flag|Company Guide Flags|Follow Me Flag

Guide flag , also known as tour guide flag, tourist flag , is a must for tour guides, tour leaders, tour operators. We supply custom tour guide flag and telescoping flag pole for sale online, with factory direct price and best quality.

follow me flag.jpg

Product Specification:

Flag material:knit polyester, tribute satin

Flag size:30×45cm,,40×60cm,64×96cm or customized

Flag shape:rectangle or customized

Flag pole material:stainless steel

Pole size:in length of 1M, 1.2M, 1.6M 2M, 2.5M or customized

A complete tour guide flag set includes:

Tour guide flag ×1

Telescoping flag pole ×1

If you don’t need a complete set, you can order tour guide flag or flag pole separately.

We offer various options to custom an unique tour guide flag. You can have your tourism agency logos, advertising message, and attentions on the flag, to guide the tour group with stand out signs like FOLLOW ME. Or custom a country flag as guide flag for an international tour group.

The bright color flag can be easily recognized in the crowds, guide and gather your tourists together.

All custom guide flags are nicely printed on quality tribute satin or knit polyester, single-sided or double sided are available, finished with smooth edges and durable flag sleeve, if you like grommets, those  are also available.

Standard size of 30×45cm,,40×60cm,64×96cm,and other custom sizes are available.

Standard shape is rectangle, of course you can customize with you desire shapes.

We use heat transfer printing process, this full color process allows you to chose as many colors as you like, even complex gradient and transitional colors.

custom tour guide flags.jpg

Comfortable Flag Pole For Your Tour Guide Flag!

High quality stainless steel telescopic flag pole for tour guide flag, the telescoping flag pole perfectly matches our custom tour guide flag. the sections can be extended to different length, available in 1M, 1.2M, 1.6M 2M, 2.5M and other customized size you need, and it can be shorten to keep in your backpack or handbag. The design of sponge handle is stable and comfortable to handle and use. what’s more, the collapsible pole can also be used as teacher’s pointer.

tour guide flag pole.jpg

The custom tour guide flag can be made as a single sided one and double sided one.

The single sided tour guide flag only has one layer,it is more fluttering and easier to fly in the wind. The double sided tour guide flag has three layers with a block out fabric in the middle, it is more durable and heavy duty. 

Single sided tour guide flag VS Double sided tour guide flag:

custom tour guide flags.jpg

Get Bulk Discount for Your Custom Tour Guide Flag|Company Guide Flags|Follow Me Flag

F lagsPrint offers good discount for bulk order. More order quantity, more competitive pricing. We also offer free mock ups and free shipping, just send your logo and ideas, we will create the mock up for your confirmation before production.

C ontact [email protected] Now to get your Custom Tour Guide Flags  on line!

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Custom Tour Guide Flag | Custom Table Flags | Custom Bike Flags

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Tour Guide Flag And Tourist Guide Flag

Tour guide flag serve as powerful tools in guiding and organizing tourists, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience. The expertise of flag makers and the options for customization allow tour guides and companies to create unique and personalized flags that reflect their identity and enhance their branding. Design considerations, such as color schemes and logo placement, coupled with appropriate sizing, contribute to the visibility and effectiveness of these flags. Whether utilizing pre-made templates or collaborating with flag makers, tour guides can find the perfect tour guide flag for sale to meet their specific needs. So, embark on your next adventure with a personalized tour guide flag, confidently leading and enriching the travel experiences of your valued tourists.

follow me flag

follow me flag

tour guide flag

tour guide flag

Tour Guide Flag Pole

Tour Guide Flag Pole

Tour Guide Flag

  • Tour Guide Flag

Tour Guide Flag

custom guide Flag

tourist flag

tourist flag

We offer various options to custom an unique tour guide flag. You can have your tourism agency logos, advertising message, and attentions on the flag, to guide the tour group with stand out signs like FOLLOW ME. Or custom a country flag as guide flag for an international tour group. The bright color flag can be easily recognized in the crowds, guide and gather your tourists together.

All custom guide flags are nicely printed on quality tribute satin or knit polyester, single-sided or double sided are available, finished with smooth edges and durable flag sleeve, if you like grommets, we are also available. Standard size of 30×45cm,,40×60cm,64×96cm,and other custom sizes are available. Standard shape is rectangle, of course you can customize with you desire shapes. We use heat transfer printing process, this full color process allows you to chose as many colors as you like, even complex gradient and transitional colors.

collapsible pole

collapsible pole

collapsible flag pole

collapsible flag pole

Comfortable flag pole for your tour guide flag.

High quality stainless steel telescopic flag pole for tour guide flag, the telescoping flag pole perfectly matches our custom tour guide flag. the sections can be extended to different length, available in 1M, 1.2M, 1.6M 2M, 2.5M and other customized size you need, and it can be shorten to keep in your backpack or handbag. The design of sponge handle is stable and comfortable to handle and use. what’s more, the collapsible pole can also be used as teacher’s pointer.

Product Specification:

Flag material:

knit polyester, tribute satin

30×45cm,,40×60cm,64×96cm or customized

Flag shape:

rectangle or customized

Flag pole material:

stainless steel

in length of 1M, 1.2M, 1.6M 2M, 2.5M or customized

A complete tour guide flag set includes:

Tour guide flag ×1

Telescoping flag pole ×1

If you don’t need a complete set, you can order tour guide flag or flag pole separately.

Related Information

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tour guide sign up

3,702 tour guide sign stock photos and high-res pictures, browse 3,702 tour guide sign photos and images available, or search for tour guide sign up to find more great photos and pictures..

three people stand in a group in a sunny office reception. one of woman explains something to the other two participants. - tour guide sign stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Tour Guide Logos

Try brandcrowd for free the world's #1 tour guide logo maker..

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Tour Guide - Vacation Tour Guide logo design

Vacation Tour Guide

Tour Guide - Aircraft Tour Guide logo design

Aircraft Tour Guide

by podvoodoo13

Tour Guide - Mountain Tour Guide logo design

Mountain Tour Guide

Tour Guide - Eco Park Tour Guide logo design

Eco Park Tour Guide

by AleksandrO

Tour Guide - Mountain Travel Tour Guide logo design

Mountain Travel Tour Guide

by marcololstudio

Tour Guide - Travel Tour Guide Location Pin logo design

Travel Tour Guide Location Pin

Tour Guide - Airplane Tour Agency logo design

Airplane Tour Agency

Tour Guide - Africa Tour Destination logo design

Africa Tour Destination

Tour Guide - City Bicycle Travel Tour logo design

City Bicycle Travel Tour

Tour Guide - Travel Tour Bus logo design

Travel Tour Bus

Tour Guide - Bus Tour Vehicle logo design

Bus Tour Vehicle

Tour Guide - Travel Airline Tour logo design

Travel Airline Tour

by RainDraft

Tour Guide - Airplane Travel Tour logo design

Airplane Travel Tour

Tour Guide - Mountain Summit Tour logo design

Mountain Summit Tour

by SimplePixelSL

Tour Guide - Tour Getaway Travel logo design

Tour Getaway Travel

by yulianrhmn

Tour Guide - Cruise Ship Tour logo design

Cruise Ship Tour

by christophers15

Tour Guide - Travel Mountain Tour logo design

Travel Mountain Tour

Tour Guide - Outdoor Road Tour logo design

Outdoor Road Tour

by logoroma

Tour Guide - Beach Vacation Tour logo design

Beach Vacation Tour

Tour Guide - Tour Bus Transportation logo design

Tour Bus Transportation

by JordanKai

Tour Guide - Airplane Tour Destination logo design

Airplane Tour Destination

Tour Guide - Travel Plane Tour logo design

Travel Plane Tour

Tour Guide - Traveler Airplane Tour logo design

Traveler Airplane Tour

Tour Guide - Sea Wave Tour logo design

Sea Wave Tour

Tour Guide - Island Beach Tour logo design

Island Beach Tour

Tour Guide - Outdoor Adventure Tour logo design

Outdoor Adventure Tour

Tour Guide - Mountain Travel Tour logo design

Mountain Travel Tour

Tour Guide - Airplane Mountain Tour logo design

Airplane Mountain Tour

Tour Guide - Alpine Tour Mountaineering logo design

Alpine Tour Mountaineering

Tour Guide - Island Tour Getaway logo design

Island Tour Getaway

Tour Guide - Ocean Wave Tour logo design

Ocean Wave Tour

Tour Guide - Airplane Tour Lettermark logo design

Airplane Tour Lettermark

Tour Guide - Island Tour Getaway logo design

Island Tour Vacation

by tetsieeroll

Tour Guide - Island Tour Vacation logo design

Orange Summer Tour

Tour Guide - Mountain Peak Hiking logo design

Mountain Peak Hiking

Tour Guide - Mountain Adventure Trip logo design

Mountain Adventure Trip

by eightyLOGOS

Tour Guide - Peak Mountain Travel logo design

Peak Mountain Travel

Tour Guide - Mountain Summit Trekking logo design

Mountain Summit Trekking

Tour Guide - Leaning Tower Italy logo design

Leaning Tower Italy

Tour Guide - New Mexico Marsh Map logo design

New Mexico Marsh Map

Tour Guide - Palm Beach Summer logo design

Palm Beach Summer

by ArtFreedom

Tour Guide - Pink Eiffel Tower logo design

Pink Eiffel Tower

by FishDesigns61025

Tour Guide - Bridge Port River logo design

Bridge Port River

Tour Guide - Gateway Arch Monoline logo design

Gateway Arch Monoline

Tour Guide - Vacation Beach Resort logo design

Vacation Beach Resort

Tour Guide - Beach Island Travel logo design

Beach Island Travel

Tour Guide - Amsterdam Windmill Tulip logo design

Amsterdam Windmill Tulip

Tour Guide - Mexican Calavera Demon logo design

Mexican Calavera Demon

Tour Guide - Mexican Calavera Festive Skull logo design

Mexican Calavera Festive Skull

Tour Guide - Egyptian Pyramid Sphinx logo design

Egyptian Pyramid Sphinx

Tour Guide - Summer Ocean Coastal Surf logo design

Summer Ocean Coastal Surf

Tour Guide - Sunset Beach Resort logo design

Sunset Beach Resort

Tour Guide - Hot Air Balloon Photography logo design

Hot Air Balloon Photography

by MusiqueDesign

Tour Guide - Mountain Media Play logo design

Mountain Media Play

Tour Guide - Africa Map Deer Stag logo design

Africa Map Deer Stag

Tour Guide - Travel Hot Air Balloon logo design

Travel Hot Air Balloon

Tour Guide - Indian Traditional Archway logo design

Indian Traditional Archway

Tour Guide - Mayan Heritage Architecture logo design

Mayan Heritage Architecture

Tour Guide - Mountain Rock Scenery logo design

Mountain Rock Scenery

Tour Guide - Valley Airplane Trip logo design

Valley Airplane Trip

Tour Guide - International Ribbon Company logo design

International Ribbon Company

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1 - 64 of 676 tour guide logo designs

Be a tour guide or start your travel agency with our striking Tour Guide logos ! We have prepared these logos to give you design ideas for both business and personal use. Use our Tour Guide logo maker to enhance your ideal logo template. Our tour guide templates consist of tourism -related images, travel agency symbols, voyage -inspired illustrations, travel agent icons, luggage drawings, and so on. You can choose from this list and start creating your very own brand logo. After selecting your ideal design, you’ll be automatically redirected to our logo maker page. Tweak your template’s icon, change its color palette, or adjust the layout—you’re free to do whatever you want, and we’re here to guide you. What are you waiting for? Customize now!

Search for particular logo ideas with BrandCrowd’s search feature. This tool can generate logo ideas based on your brand theme—plus, it will only take a few seconds to operate! Just go to our logo ideas page to begin. Next, enter your business name inside the search bar, then click the “Generate Logo Ideas” tab on its right side. After that, we’ll give you inspiring logo results that are sure to amaze you. Get your logo design today!

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Making your Tour Guide logo is easy with BrandCrowd Logo Maker

Create a professional tour-guide logo in minutes with our free tour-guide logo maker. BrandCrowd logo maker is easy to use and allows you full customization to get the tour-guide logo you want!

Pick a tour-guide logo

Pick one of the tour-guide logos on this page or update your search.

Customize your tour-guide logo

Change colours, fonts, add a tagline… Our tour-guide logo maker is 100% customizable and easy to use.

Download your tour-guide logo!

Download your tour-guide logo and start sharing it with the world!

Enter any keyword and we will start making logos for you

How do i make a tour guide logo with brandcrowd.

Creating your tour guide logo easy with BrandCrowd. Just follow these steps and you'll have a tour guide logo ready to share with the world in minutes.

1. Start searching:

To find tour guide logos relevant to your business enter your business name - We'll automatically show you tour guide logos related to your business. You can browse the logos and choose one you love.

2. Refine your search:

If you can't find the perfect tour guide logo, you can refine your search by entering related keywords. We'll show you more logos related to your search.

3. Create a tour guide logo shortlist

To make life easier you can "shortlist" logos that you like. Simply click the heart symbol and we'll add the tour guide logos to your shortlist.

4. Edit your tour guide logo

Once you've found a tour guide logo that you love, you can customize the logo colors, fonts and layout. You can even add more embellishments with shapes.

5. Preview your tour guide logo

When you're done editing you can easily preview your logo on apparal, signage and more to see how it looks in real life.

6. Download your tour guide logo

Once you're done customizing, you can download your tour guide logo - you'll get access to all the logo files you need, instantly

What elements make a beautiful tour guide logo?

It's easy to create a tour guide logo with BrandCrowd's logo maker - but making sure you get these design elements right will ensure your logo is perfect. Your tour guide logo should represent your brand, help people remember you and provide insight into your services. Choosing the right colors, layout, fonts and shapes are key to making sure your tour guide logo rises above competitors.

two-tour guide-logo-examples

There's an array of different logo types to choose from. Does your tour guide logo need an icon or just text? Should it have a combination of both? Find out more

Logo colors

Want to convey trustworthiness? Want to appear fun and outgoing? Choosing the right colors for your tour guide logo makes all the difference. Find out more

In the same way colors can convey meaning, so too can fonts and typography. Need a serious tour guide logo or maybe something more gentle? Make sure to choose your fonts wisely. Find out more

Frequently asked questions

Creating that perfect tour guide logo with BrandCrowd is easy - but just in case, here's some FAQs to help you get started.

What does a tour guide do?

Would you make a good tour guide? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.

What is a Tour Guide?

A tour guide provides assistance, information, and guidance to individuals or groups of tourists during their travels. Their primary role is to enhance the travel experience by sharing knowledge and insights about the destinations, attractions, and cultural aspects of the places being visited. Tour guides are well-versed in the history, geography, culture, and traditions of the locations they cover, and they use their expertise to educate and entertain the tourists.

Tour guides are responsible for organizing and leading tours, ensuring that the itinerary is followed, and the group stays on schedule. They may work in various settings, including cities, historical sites, natural landscapes, or cultural landmarks. During tours, guides provide commentary, answer questions, and engage with the tourists, creating an interactive and immersive experience. They may also assist with logistical matters, such as arranging transportation, coordinating entry to attractions, and recommending places to eat or shop.

What does a Tour Guide do?

An animated tour guide giving a group of visitors information about the area they are in.

Tour guides bring destinations to life by providing valuable expertise and insights. While guidebooks and online resources can offer information, tour guides offer a unique and personalized experience that cannot be replicated.

Duties and Responsibilities Tour guides have a range of duties and responsibilities to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for tourists. Some of the key responsibilities include:

  • Planning and organizing: Tour guides research and plan tour itineraries, considering factors such as the duration of the tour, the interests of the group, and the availability of attractions. They arrange transportation, accommodation, meals, and any necessary permits or tickets, ensuring that everything is well-coordinated.
  • Providing information and commentary: A primary role of tour guides is to offer informative and engaging commentary about the destinations being visited. They share historical facts, cultural insights, and interesting anecdotes to educate and entertain tourists. Guides should have a deep understanding of the locations, including their history, architecture, local customs, and traditions.
  • Leading tours and managing groups: Tour guides are responsible for leading the group throughout the tour. They ensure that the group stays together, follows the itinerary, and adheres to any safety guidelines. Guides should have good organizational and leadership skills to manage groups of varying sizes and diverse backgrounds.
  • Assisting with logistics: Tour guides handle practical aspects of the tour, such as coordinating transportation between sites, arranging entry to attractions, and managing timing to optimize the itinerary. They provide directions, answer questions, and offer recommendations for meals, shopping, and other activities.
  • Ensuring safety and security: Guides prioritize the safety and security of the tourists. They inform the group about potential risks or hazards, and they take necessary precautions to prevent accidents or incidents. In emergency situations, guides should be prepared to provide assistance and follow appropriate protocols.
  • Interacting and engaging with tourists: Tour guides create a welcoming and interactive environment for tourists. They foster a positive and friendly atmosphere, encourage questions, and actively engage with the group. Guides should be approachable and adaptable, catering to the needs and interests of the tourists.
  • Resolving issues and addressing concerns: Tour guides act as a point of contact for tourists, addressing any concerns or issues that may arise during the tour. They handle complaints, resolve conflicts, and provide assistance or alternative solutions when needed.
  • Promoting responsible and sustainable tourism: Guides play a crucial role in promoting responsible tourism practices. They educate tourists about local customs and cultural sensitivities, encourage respectful behavior towards local communities and the environment, and advocate for sustainable travel practices.

Types of Tour Guides There are various types of tour guides, each specializing in different areas and catering to specific types of tours. Here are some common types of tour guides and a brief description of what they do:

  • City Tour Guides: City tour guides specialize in providing tours within a specific city or urban area. They are well-versed in the history, architecture, landmarks, and culture of the city. Their role is to guide tourists through popular attractions, historical sites, and local neighborhoods, offering insights and commentary along the way.
  • Cultural Tour Guides: Cultural tour guides focus on highlighting the cultural aspects of a destination. They provide in-depth knowledge about local traditions, customs, festivals, and arts. These guides may accompany tourists to museums, art galleries, cultural events, or religious sites, helping them understand and appreciate the cultural significance of these places.
  • Ecotourism Guides : Ecotourism guides are responsible for designing and planning itineraries that are environmentally and culturally responsible, researching the destination, developing educational materials, preparing necessary equipment, and coordinating logistics such as transportation, accommodation, and meals.
  • Adventure Tour Guides: Adventure tour guides lead tours focused on outdoor activities and adventure sports such as hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, or skiing. They possess skills and knowledge in the specific activities offered, ensuring the safety of participants while providing guidance and instruction. Adventure guides may take tourists to remote and challenging locations, coordinating logistics and providing a thrilling experience.
  • Historical Tour Guides: Historical tour guides specialize in providing detailed insights into the history of a destination. They are knowledgeable about specific historical periods, events, and significant landmarks. These guides often work in historical sites, monuments, or archaeological sites, sharing historical context and stories that bring the past to life for tourists.
  • Specialized Tour Guides: Specialized tour guides cater to niche interests or specific types of tours. Examples include food tour guides who focus on culinary experiences, wine tour guides who provide expertise on vineyards and wine tasting, or art tour guides who lead tours in museums and art galleries, offering interpretations of artworks.

Are you suited to be a tour guide?

Tour guides have distinct personalities . They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if tour guide is one of your top career matches.

What is the workplace of a Tour Guide like?

The workplace of a tour guide can be quite diverse and dynamic, offering a mix of indoor and outdoor environments. One aspect of their workplace involves cultural and urban settings. City tour guides, for instance, operate within bustling cities, leading tourists through streets, squares, and iconic landmarks. They may work in vibrant neighborhoods, historic districts, or cosmopolitan areas, immersing tourists in the local culture and urban atmosphere. These guides navigate through crowded streets, interact with locals, and provide insights into the city's history, architecture, and vibrant lifestyle. They may also lead tours in museums, art galleries, or cultural centers, where they can showcase the city's artistic and cultural offerings.

Another significant aspect of a tour guide's workplace is outdoor settings. Nature and wildlife tour guides find themselves working in breathtaking natural landscapes, such as forests, mountains, or coastal areas. These guides lead groups on hikes, nature walks, or wildlife safaris, sharing their knowledge about the local flora, fauna, and ecosystems. Their workplace is characterized by stunning scenery, serene environments, and opportunities for visitors to connect with nature. Adventure tour guides also operate in outdoor settings, taking tourists on thrilling activities like rafting, rock climbing, or skiing. They work in adventurous and often remote locations, ensuring the safety of participants while providing an adrenaline-pumping experience.

Additionally, the workplace of a tour guide can extend to various modes of transportation. They may lead tours on buses, boats, trains, or even walking tours, utilizing different forms of transportation to explore diverse attractions and destinations. This allows guides to provide a comprehensive experience, showcasing various facets of a region while offering comfort and convenience to tourists.

Tour Guides are also known as: Tourist Guide

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5 top tour guide tools for an outstanding experience

By Checkfront Marketing

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A person leans against their camper while looking at their phone

When it comes to providing an exceptional experience for guests, there are many things a tour guide should consider.

Aside from crafting funny stories, a long list of facts, and secret destination tips, tour guides should come prepared with everything they need to stay organized and provide an exceptional guest experience.

It can be overwhelming to decide which tour guide supplies will be helpful for your business. There are numerous tools and technologies available — how do you choose what works best for your business? 

Not to worry. We’ll walk you through some of the top tour guide tools available and a few things you’ll want to consider when selecting them. 

Why you should use tour guide tools

What are the benefits of using tour guide tools? 

Well, they make your job easier for starters. There are many helpful supplies and technologies that will assist you every step of the way, from managing bookings to organizing your tour and beyond. 

Having a select set of tour guide supplies will help you stay organized, keep your visitors safe, and ensure your tour runs smoothly while providing value to guests. 

From first aid supplies to helpful apps, the tools you do (or don’t) have on hand can make or break your guests’ experience.

person wearing headlamp while touring a cave

Our favourite tour guide essentials 

Let’s get right into the essentials that every tour guide needs. Some tour guide supplies are universally beneficial. Your top priorities as a tour guide are to keep you and your guests organized and safe during the tour. 

These three tour guide essentials help you do just that:

1. First Aid Kit

Whether you offer walking tours, rentals or activities, a first aid kit is a must-have for any tour guide. Depending on the experience you provide, this can range from a basic kit with just the essentials to a more robust kit with a variety of medical supplies.

It is always best to be prepared for anything that could happen during your tour. Your guests’  safety and comfort will be taken care of if you carry this important tour guide supply with you.

Pro tip: Add a contact card for your local emergency services to your kit for quick and easy access.

2. Voice Amplifier

It can be a strain to talk for long periods of time, especially when you’re projecting your voice to a larger crowd. Consider using a voice amplifier, such as a wireless microphone. 

You can customize the volume based on the group size so your voice is at the perfect volume, every time.

A bonus? This tour guide essential makes your tour more accessible to a wider range of people, as they’ll be able to hear your more clearly.

3. Business Cards

Happy guests are going to want to share their experience with others and encourage them to participate in your tour. 

Don’t miss out on word-of-mouth marketing. Carry business cards and share your Instagram or Facebook handle so your guests can easily share your information with others. 

Take it to the next level by adding a QR code that links directly to your social media channels and website, where guests can conveniently leave a review instantaneously. 

Must-have tour guide technology

Technology is an incredibly helpful tool for any tour guide and there is truly something for anyone. 

Tour guide technology can range from the basics, such as navigation apps and cameras, to fully customizable options, like online bookings. Here are our top recommendations for tour guide technology:

1. Smartphone 

Smart phones are arguably one of the most important tour guide tools. A mobile phone offers ease of communication, a camera, navigation device, check-in tool, and so much more. Virtually every app and organizational need are available at your fingertips with a smartphone.

2. Mobile Apps

With the numerous apps available to us, there are plenty of ways to use them to enhance your tour. Need to check the weather before you head out on your trek? A weather app makes this possible. 

Navigating a new area of the city? Choose a map app. (Helpful tip: download offline maps so you can access them even without WiFi.) 

Going camping in the wilderness? Break out a stargazing app and wow your guests. No matter what value you want to add to your tour, there is likely an app for it. Here’s a list of our recommended apps for tour guides and operators:

  • Google Maps
  • Google Translate
  • Weather Network

tour guide tools google maps on mobile

3. Portable Bank Charger

Eliminate any fear of losing your most helpful tool with a portable phone charger. Having this handy item in your collection of tour guide supplies means you’re never left without your connection to bookings, maps, apps and anything else you (or a guest) might need.

Consider bringing along extra cables to offer to any guests who may be running low on battery — they’ll be impressed at your consideration of their needs. And, if your phone is charged it means you’re always camera-ready.

Many travellers agree that tour photos make the best souvenir and can bring back memories of their experience for years to come. Some tour operators will opt for a high-quality, mirrorless or DSLR camera depending on their photography skills.

Make your tour extra memorable by snapping photos and/or videos throughout the experience to share with your guests after their tour.

Don’t feel like you have to splurge on a professional camera, just focus on capturing well-framed images in great lighting that guests will get excited about. Images like these help to sell the experience to future guests and are a powerful tool when it comes to online bookings.

5. Booking tools

Between managing bookings, organizing your supplies, and running the tour itself, keeping organized when you’re running a tour business can be challenging.

Move away from pen and paper and availability back and forth with an online booking platform. This key tour guide tool offloads some of your administrative work, by taking care of booking details so you have more time to focus on what truly matters — your guests’ experience. 

Tour guide tools for crafting the perfect tour

There are many qualities of a good tour guide , including stocking up on helpful tour guide tools, but the most important part of the experience is you.

Your customers want to connect and learn from you and your experience. Enhance your knowledge and experience with the following tour guide essentials:

When conducting a tour, you’re telling the story of the location that you are at. It is important to have a tour commentary introduction that instantly captures the interest of your guests and makes them excited about the experience they’re about to share with you.

A good script has the following qualities:

  • ​​Addresses important topics
  • Bookends points of interest
  • Addresses any questions
  • Showcases your enthusiasm
  • Leaves guests feeling inspired

2. Education

Elevate your guests’  experience by increasing your expertise over time. There are many tour guide resources available that offer helpful insights on topics such as ‘tour leading essentials’ or up-and-coming tourism practices like ecotourism.

Keep learning and you’ll provide an invaluable experience to your guests.

Additional considerations when choosing your tour guide supplies

Before adding everything to your packing list, there are a few different aspects of your tour to consider.

Tours vary in many ways — from the length of time to the type of experience, to the target audience and more. As you choose your tour guide tools, consider the following:

1. Accessibility

How can you make your tour accessible to a wider range of guests? A voice amplifier or wireless microphone, for example, not only allows you to project your voice to a larger audience but will make your tour more accessible for guests who might struggle to hear you over background noise.

Another option is to include larger or more visually-centric printouts to make it easier for guests to follow your tour route.

2. Environment

Are you trekking through the jungle, walking through a bustling city, or paddling along lake waters?

The type of experience you’re offering drastically impacts which tools may or may not be helpful for both you and your guests. Account for changes in weather, solutions for navigating and hiccups that might derail your guiding experience with the tools you carry with you.

3. Small but thoughtful details

Go above and beyond by anticipating your guests’ needs and bringing along supplies to care for them. On a food tour? Consider carrying wet wipes and napkins for any potential messes.

Spending time in the sun? Bring along some extra sunscreen for those who may have left theirs at home. Small gestures go a long way and leave a lasting impression on your well-cared-for guests.

Final thoughts

As a tour guide, your goal is to provide a truly unforgettable experience for your guests. Aside from your personality and expertise, these tour guide tools will help make your job easier while providing an exceptional experience for your guests. 

Interested in learning more helpful tips for tour guides?

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A Touch of Business

Beginner’s Handbook: Launching Your Own Tour Guide Business

Main Sections In This Post Steps To Starting A Tour Guide Business Points to Consider Resources Knowledge Is Power Featured Video

Introduction

Starting a tour guide business can be an exciting venture with numerous possibilities. This overview provides helpful insights and information for aspiring entrepreneurs. It covers many examples, giving you a clear idea of what to expect.

Additionally, it highlights important issues to consider, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the journey. You’ll also find valuable resources and information to assist you during the startup phase and when your business is operational.

Feel free to bookmark this page for future reference, and if you find this post helpful, please share it!

Let’s get started with the steps.

Steps to Starting a Tour Guide Business

1. gaining an overview of what you’re getting into.

In the tour guide business, gaining insights and making informed decisions is crucial.

The key to success lies within you. Understanding your feelings about owning and running your own business is important. Investing time in this section will empower you to make better decisions when starting a tour guide business.

a.) Is Starting a Business the Right Step for You?

Passion plays a vital role in finding success as a tour guide. When you have a deep passion for your business, it becomes your driving force.

Challenges and obstacles won’t discourage you; you’ll actively seek solutions. On the other hand, if you lack passion for your business, problems may make you want to give up.

Let’s imagine a different scenario:

Imagine you win a huge lottery jackpot.

You generously help your loved ones and donate to charities. Over the next couple of years, you travel the world, buy your dream house, and even own a vacation home for relaxing weekends.

You have all the cars and gadgets you’ve ever desired. You can buy anything you want effortlessly.

Even after all this, you still have millions of dollars in cash and investments to live as you please.

Now, here’s an important question to consider: Would you still choose to start a tour guide business in such a situation?

If your answer is yes, it indicates that you genuinely have a passion for being a tour guide and you’re on the right track.

However, if your answer is no, it leads to another question:

What would you prefer to do instead? Maybe it’s worth exploring and pursuing that path instead of starting a tour guide business.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business

The Reasons for Starting a Business

Starting a tour guide business may sound amazing—being in charge, making important decisions, earning a good income, and living your dream life. It can become a reality if you succeed, but until then, it can be tough.

Before diving into a business, it’s crucial to ensure it’s the right fit for you and that you have the right motivations for starting one.

I recommend reading my article below. It will guide you through essential factors to consider and help you make an informed choice before taking the next steps.

See Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

b.) A Quick Overview of Owning a Tour Guide Business

Tour Guide Business Overview

Running a tour guide business involves various responsibilities and offers a unique experience.

As the owner, you are responsible for:

  • Organizing and conducting tours
  • Ensuring the safety and satisfaction of your clients
  • Managing the overall operations of the business

On an average day, your tasks may include:

  • Gathering necessary materials
  • Planning and scheduling tour routes
  • Greeting clients as they arrive
  • Offering details about the tour
  • Leading clients through different locations
  • Sharing interesting facts and stories
  • Answering clients’ questions
  • Coordinating transportation arrangements
  • Making reservations for attractions or accommodations
  • Managing any unexpected changes or issues
  • Gathering feedback from clients about their experience
  • Addressing any concerns or issues raised by clients
  • Maintaining records for future reference

Running a tour guide business requires a mix of skills and qualities, including:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • In-depth knowledge of the tour locations
  • Ability to adapt to different situations
  • Strong organizational and time management skills

It’s a rewarding but demanding role that allows you to share your passion for travel and exploration with others.

Key Points To Succeed in Tour Guide Business

To succeed in a tour guide business, there are several key points to consider:

  • Clients expect knowledgeable and engaging tour guides.
  • Provide interesting and relevant information about the destinations.
  • Offer a memorable and enjoyable experience for customers.
  • Online platforms such as social media and websites.
  • Collaborate with local travel agencies and hotels.
  • Utilize print materials like brochures or flyers .
  • Highlight unique features of your tours and showcase customer testimonials.
  • Engage with potential customers through targeted advertising and content creation.

In addition to managing the tour guide business itself, two critical aspects are:

  • Proper financial planning and management are essential.
  • Keep track of expenses, including permits, transportation, and marketing costs.
  • Balance revenue generation with cost control to ensure profitability.
  • Regularly review and adjust the budget based on business performance .
  • Focus on personalized interactions and attention to customer needs.
  • Address inquiries and concerns promptly and professionally.
  • Encourage feedback and actively work to improve the customer experience.

Understanding customer expectations, implementing effective marketing strategies, practicing sound budgeting, and prioritizing exceptional customer service can increase your chances of running a successful and sustainable tour guide business.

Challenges of Running a Tour Guide Business

Running a tour guide business comes with its fair share of challenges. Some of the key challenges include:

  • It’s essential to attract a sufficient number of customers to generate revenue that covers expenses and ensures profitability.
  • Effective marketing and promotional strategies are crucial in reaching a wide audience and attracting potential customers.
  • Customer satisfaction is vital for the success of a tour guide business.
  • Providing exceptional service, personalized experiences, and meeting customer expectations are crucial to keep customers happy and encourage positive reviews and referrals.
  • Having enough funds to keep the business operating smoothly is crucial.
  • Many businesses struggle or fail due to insufficient funds, especially during slow periods.
  • Proper financial planning, budgeting, and managing cash flow are essential to ensure there’s enough money to cover expenses and sustain the business during challenging times.

Addressing these challenges requires a strategic approach, effective marketing efforts, a focus on customer satisfaction, and prudent financial management. By overcoming these obstacles, a tour guide business can thrive and succeed in the long run.

Tour Guide Business Models

There are various types of tour guide business setups, each with its unique business model. Here are a few common examples:

  • In this setup, the tour guide operates as a sole proprietor, managing and conducting tours independently.
  • The business model revolves around offering personalized tours, charging clients directly for the services provided.
  • A tour guide agency acts as a middleman between clients and tour guides.
  • The agency recruits and manages a pool of tour guides, matching them with clients’ needs.
  • The business model involves earning a commission or fee from both the tour guide and the client for each booking.
  • This type of tour guide business focuses on specific niches or specialized tours, such as adventure tours, cultural tours, or eco-tourism.
  • The business model involves designing and organizing unique tours, partnering with local suppliers, and charging clients for the specialized experiences provided.
  • Online platforms connect tourists with local tour guides.
  • The business model typically involves charging a commission or service fee for facilitating bookings between clients and tour guides.
  • These businesses cater to corporate clients, providing tailored tours and experiences for team building, conferences, or executive retreats.
  • The business model involves negotiating contracts with corporate clients and offering comprehensive packages that include transportation, accommodation, and guided tours.

These are just a few examples of tour guide business setups and their respective business models. The choice of setup and business model depends on factors such as target market, specialization, and preferred level of involvement in tour operations.

c.) Pros and Cons

Pros of Running a Tour Guide Business:

  • Exciting and fulfilling work, sharing your passion for travel and exploration.
  • Flexibility in setting your own schedule and choosing the types of tours you offer.
  • Opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Potential for good income, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Possibility of exploring new destinations and continuously learning about different places.

Cons of Running a Tour Guide Business:

  • Seasonal fluctuations and unpredictability in customer demand.
  • Intense competition from other tour guide businesses in popular destinations.
  • Physical and mental demands of managing tours, including long working hours and handling unexpected situations.
  • Responsibility for the safety and satisfaction of clients, which can be stressful.
  • Challenges in finding a balance between business operations, marketing, and delivering high-quality tours.

It’s important to consider both the pros and cons before starting a tour guide business.

While it can be a rewarding and exciting venture, it also requires dedication, adaptability, and the ability to handle the challenges that come with it.

2. Research

Tour guide business research.

Before starting a tour guide business, conducting thorough research is crucial to make informed decisions.

Gathering quality information will help you determine if this business is the right fit for you. One valuable source of information is connecting with experienced professionals already working in the industry. They possess the knowledge and insights you can rely on.

Spending time with industry experts can be immensely valuable, allowing you to tap into their years of experience and gain valuable insights. I have written an article with helpful ideas to find the right people to talk to and approach them effectively.

To understand what you’re getting into before launching your business, I strongly recommend reading the article linked below. It will provide you with essential knowledge and prepare you for the journey ahead.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start  for all the details.

Target Audience

Understanding your target market is crucial for a tour guide business. By identifying your ideal customers, you can tailor your offerings and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Potential customers who might be interested in what you offer include:

  • Travel enthusiasts looking for unique and immersive experiences.
  • Families and individuals seeking educational and informative tours.
  • Adventure seekers in search of thrilling outdoor activities.
  • History buffs interested in exploring historical landmarks and cultural sites.
  • Nature lovers eager to discover scenic landscapes and wildlife.

You can improve your advertising and sales efforts by deeply understanding your target market. For more insights and guidance on understanding your customers, refer to How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Looking at Financials:

In a tour guide business, it’s important to understand the financial aspects involved. Here’s an overview of startup costs, monthly expenses, revenues, and profits to consider:

Startup Costs:

  • Accurately estimate the costs required to successfully launch your business.
  • Create a comprehensive list of necessary items and get pricing .
  • Consider factors like the size of your operation, hiring employees, and location impact on costs.
  • Decide whether to purchase new or used equipment.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on  Estimating Startup Costs.

Sales and Profit:

  • Your sales depend on factors such as the popularity of your products and services.
  • Effective marketing is crucial to reach the right audience and create awareness.
  • Calculate the profit per sale and aim for sufficient sales to cover expenses and generate profit.

Ensuring your sales exceed your monthly expenses, including living costs, is essential. Use the provided lists as a starting point for your research, giving you ideas and expectations for your tour guide business.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue

Sample Lists

Estimated cost list for a new tour guide business, the recurring monthly expenses, and a basic profit projection.

Remember that these figures are estimates and may vary significantly based on location, specialization, market competition, and other factors.

  • Business License: $300
  • Insurance: $1,500 per year
  • Website Design & Development: $2,500
  • Online Booking System: $500
  • Marketing Materials (brochures, business cards, etc.): $500
  • Office Equipment (computer, printer, etc.): $1,000
  • Professional Training and Certification: $1,500
  • Legal and Accounting Setup: $1,000
  • Market Research: $1,000
  • Initial Marketing and Advertising: $2,000
  • Transportation Vehicle: $20,000

Grand Total for Startup Costs: $31,300

Monthly Expenses:

  • Rent (if necessary): $1,000
  • Utilities: $200
  • Insurance: $125 (yearly insurance cost divided by 12)
  • Website Maintenance and Hosting: $50
  • Online Booking System Subscription: $50
  • Fuel and Vehicle Maintenance: $300
  • Marketing and Advertising: $500
  • Phone and Internet: $100
  • Office Supplies: $50
  • Accounting Services: $200
  • Miscellaneous (unexpected costs): $100

Grand Total for Monthly Expenses: $2,675

Revenue and Profit Projection:

Assumptions:

  • Average price per tour: $50
  • Average number of tourists per tour: 10
  • Average number of tours per day: 2
  • Business operates 25 days per month

Monthly Revenue:

= Average price per tour x Average number of tourists per tour x Average number of tours per day x Operating days per month

= $50 x 10 x 2 x 25 = $25,000

Monthly Expenses: $2,675

Monthly Profit (before tax):

= Monthly Revenue – Monthly Expenses

= $25,000 – $2,675 = $22,325

This is a simplistic projection, and the actual numbers can vary significantly based on many factors.

Conducting a detailed feasibility study and market research to get more accurate figures is highly recommended. Also, don’t forget to consider the taxes in your financial plan.

4. Choosing The Right Business Location

Picking the right place for your tour guide business can make it shine or sink.

If you pick a place where no one is interested in tours, your business will fail before it gets going.

If too many other tour guides are in the same spot, you may find it hard to get customers.

You want a place where people want your tours and there aren’t too many other guides around.

Being in a busy spot can help more people find your tours, but you have to make sure you can still make money after paying more to be there.

On the flip side, you might find a cheap place to run your tours, but will enough people want tours there to keep your business going?

Picking the right place is a big part of making your business a hit. Take your time, do your homework, and make sure you’re making a good choice.

For more about business locations, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Choose a Business Name

When selecting a name for your tour guide business, it’s important to choose something catchy, appropriate, and memorable.

Consider the following name ideas to spark your creativity and inspire you to create an original name that aligns with your company’s identity:

  • Wanderlust Tours
  • Explore Adventures
  • Guided Discoveries
  • Insightful Journeys
  • Trailblazers Travel
  • Discover Earth
  • Enchanting Explorations
  • Heritage Guides
  • Cultural Compass
  • Natural Wonders Tours
  • Epic Expeditions
  • Authentic Explorers
  • Globe Trotters
  • Panorama Guides
  • Adventure Seekers
  • Discover Local
  • Hidden Gems Tours
  • Heritage Trails
  • Eco Explorations
  • Inspire Wanderlust

Remember, this list is meant to ignite your creativity and help you brainstorm an original name not used by another business and is available for registration.

Choose a name that resonates with your tour guide business and reflects its unique offers and values.

For this important step, see How to Choose a Business Name.

6. Register Your Company

Registering your tour guide business is paramount as it provides legal recognition and establishes your business as a legitimate entity. Here are some key points to consider regarding registration:

  • Enhances credibility and trust among clients and partners.
  • Protects your business name and brand identity.
  • Allows access to business banking services and financial transactions.
  • Ensures compliance with local regulations and laws.
  • Research and choose a suitable business structure, such as sole proprietorship , partnership , or limited liability company (LLC).
  • Select a unique and memorable business name that aligns with your services.
  • Check the availability of the chosen name and register it with the appropriate government agency.
  • If hiring employees, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the tax authority.
  • Fulfill any additional requirements specific to your location or industry.

Permits and Licenses to Consider for a Tour Guide Business:

  • Business License: Obtain a general business license or permit required by your local government or municipality.
  • Tour Operator License: Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need a specific license to operate as a tour guide or operator.
  • National Park or Wildlife Permits: If conducting tours in protected areas, you may need permits from relevant authorities.
  • Transportation Licenses: If providing transportation services, check if you require licenses for vehicles or specific routes.
  • First Aid and Safety Certifications: Consider obtaining certifications in first aid and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

Remember to consult with local authorities or a business attorney to determine the specific permits and licenses needed for your tour guide business based on your location and the services provided.

See, How to Register your Business  for more.

7. Create Your Corporate Identity

In a tour guide business, having a professional and consistent corporate identity (CI) is crucial. Here’s why it’s important and what it includes:

  • Creates a positive and memorable first impression of your business.
  • Establishes professionalism and credibility.
  • Builds brand recognition and trust among customers.
  • Helps differentiate your business from competitors.
  • Logo: A unique and recognizable symbol that represents your business.
  • Business Cards : Essential for networking and sharing contact information.
  • Website : A professional online presence to showcase your services and engage with customers.
  • Stationery: Consistent design for letterheads, envelopes, and other business documents.
  • Business Sign : A visually appealing and informative sign to attract customers.
  • Promotional Items: Branded merchandise like pens, keychains, or t-shirts for marketing purposes.

By ensuring a cohesive corporate identity, you present a professional image that resonates with both new and existing customers. It establishes trust and creates a strong brand presence for your tour guide business.

A Corporate ID consists of various components such as your logo , business cards , website , stationary, business sign , promotional items, etc.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is a vital document for your tour guide business. It serves multiple purposes, including acquiring funding and attracting investors. It acts as a roadmap to guide you during the startup phase and when your business is fully operational.

Writing a business plan requires time and effort as it involves creating a vision of your future business. It’s important to carefully express the details and consider all aspects.

The effort invested in creating a business plan is worthwhile because it provides a clear understanding of the necessary steps to start and operate your business successfully.

When it comes to creating a business plan, you have various options:

  • Writing it from scratch.
  • Hiring a professional.
  • Using a template.
  • Utilizing business plan software.

Regardless of the option you choose, active participation is crucial, especially if you hire a professional. This ensures your business plan is distinctive and effectively conveys the nature of your tour guide business.

Remember, your business plan can evolve and be optimized as you gain experience. Regularly reviewing and making necessary adjustments is advisable to keep it relevant and aligned with your business operations.

Sample Business Plan for A tour Guide Business

An official business plan would be more detailed and specific and require thorough market research and analysis.

Executive Summary: “XYZ Guided Tours” will offer a variety of thematic city tours, such as historical, culinary, and ghost tours, to both local and international tourists. We will offer personalized, immersive experiences to groups of 1-10, catering to their specific interests and ensuring a unique and memorable adventure.

Company Description: Founded by a group of history enthusiasts, “XYZ Guided Tours” is a startup based in Boston, Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide high-quality guided tours that enlighten, educate, and entertain, leaving tourists with a deep appreciation for the city’s rich heritage and culture.

Market Analysis: The U.S. tourism industry continues to grow steadily, with a notable increase in demand for personalized, local experiences. Our main customers will be tourists visiting Boston, which in 2022, attracted 10.3 million visitors. The demand for guided tours remains high, particularly those with a unique spin or focus.

Organization and Management: Our team comprises a group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, an operations manager, a marketing specialist, and a customer service representative. The founder, John Doe, will oversee all aspects of the business, including partnerships, budgeting, and strategic planning.

Services: We offer thematic city tours, including historical, culinary, and ghost tours. Our services also include custom tours, allowing customers to choose the sites they wish to visit. Each tour lasts approximately 3 hours and includes transportation and a knowledgeable guide.

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Our marketing strategy involves a strong online presence through SEO-optimized content, social media, and partnerships with local businesses. We’ll offer an online booking system through our website and also target hotel concierges, travel agencies, and local event organizers. To incentivize bookings, we’ll offer discounts for early booking and group purchases.

Funding Request: To start the business, we require an estimated $31,300. We are seeking an investor who can provide $15,000 in exchange for a 20% equity stake in the business.

Financial Projections: Based on our analysis, we anticipate a monthly revenue of $25,000 and monthly expenses of $2,675, resulting in a monthly profit (before tax) of $22,325. We predict we will be profitable by the end of the first year of operation, allowing for repayment of the initial investment.

Exit Strategy : If the business is not profitable after two years, we plan to liquidate the company’s assets, repay our investors, and dissolve the company.

Remember, this is a simplified business plan, and a thorough plan would require extensive research, market analysis, and potentially seeking professional assistance.

For information on creating your business plan, see,  How to Write a Business Plan.

9. Banking Considerations

When running a tour guide business, it’s worth considering a nearby bank that caters to business owners. Here’s why:

  • Having a dedicated business account separates your business expenses from personal spending.
  • It makes expense tracking easier and provides documentation in case of a tax audit.
  • Developing a good relationship with your banker is beneficial.
  • They can provide assistance and advice, especially when you need funding for your business.
  • A trusted banker can help expedite loan processes and make them smoother.
  • Consider applying for a merchant account to accept credit and debit card payments.
  • This expands your payment options and makes transactions more convenient for customers.
  • A positive relationship with your banker can help simplify setting up a merchant account.

By choosing a nearby bank that understands the needs of business owners, you can benefit from specialized services and guidance tailored to your tour guide business. Building a professional rapport with your banker can facilitate financial matters and ensure a smoother operation.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at, What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

10. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

Getting funding for your tour guide business is crucial for starting and operating it successfully.

Here’s an overview of funding options and considerations when seeking financial support:

  • Traditional Lenders: Banks and credit unions offer business loans with set repayment terms and interest rates.
  • Private Loans: Borrowing from individuals or private lending institutions outside of traditional banks.
  • Investors: Attracting investors who provide capital in exchange for a share of your business.
  • Selling Assets: Liquidating assets you own, such as vehicles or equipment, to generate funds.
  • Collateral: Using personal or business assets as collateral to secure a loan.

Considerations when Meeting with a Loan Officer:

  • Prepare a detailed business plan outlining your tour guide business, its potential for growth, and financial projections.
  • Demonstrate your industry knowledge, experience, and commitment to the business’s success.
  • Highlight how the loan will be utilized to benefit and grow your tour guide business.

Sample List of Documents Needed for a Business Loan Application:

  • Business plan and financial projections.
  • Personal and business tax returns.
  • Bank statements and financial statements.
  • Proof of collateral (if applicable).
  • Legal and business registrations.

Meeting with a loan officer requires careful preparation and providing the necessary documents to support your loan application.

It’s important to showcase your business’s potential and ability to responsibly manage funds.

See, Getting a Small Business Loan for more.

11. Software Setup

When choosing software for your tour guide business, it’s important to research and consider the following:

  • It’s easier to start with a software program from scratch rather than switching to a new system later when your data is already in another program.
  • Consider the effort and potential challenges involved in migrating data if you decide to switch later on.
  • Look for software providers that offer demos, allowing you to try out the software and assess its suitability for your business.
  • Read reviews and participate in online forums to gather insights from other tour guide businesses about their experiences with different software options.
  • Research software solutions for tracking expenses and preparing financial documents needed for tax filing.
  • Consult with your bookkeeper or accountant to ensure the chosen software meets your accounting needs and integrates well with their workflow.

List of Software Used for a Tour Guide Business:

  • Examples: FareHarbor, Rezdy, Peek Pro.
  • Examples: HubSpot, Zoho CRM, Salesforce.
  • Examples: QuickBooks, Xero, Wave Accounting.
  • Examples: Tourwriter, TrekkSoft, TourCMS.
  • Examples: WordPress, Wix, Squarespace.

Remember, this is a list of software commonly used in tour guide businesses. Still, it’s important to research and evaluate each option to determine the best fit for your specific needs and preferences.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for a tour guide business.

12. Get The Right Business Insurance

When seeking insurance for your tour guide business, it’s important to consider the following concerns:

Comprehensive Coverage:

  • Ensure that the insurance policy covers a range of risks and potential incidents specific to your tour guide business.
  • Consider coverage for customers, employees, yourself, premises, property, and any other individuals involved in the activities.

Professional Liability Insurance:

  • Consider obtaining professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, to protect against potential lawsuits arising from negligence or inadequate services.

Home-Based Business Considerations:

  • If you operate or manage your tour guide business from your home, inform your home insurance agent.
  • Understand how running a business from home may impact your existing home insurance policy, as it may need adjustments or additional coverage.

Competent Insurance Broker:

  • Work with a knowledgeable and reputable insurance broker who specializes in business insurance.
  • Seek their guidance to assess your unique risks and ensure you have sufficient coverage for your tour guide business.

Adequate Coverage Limits:

  • Consider the potential financial impact of incidents or lawsuits and choose coverage that adequately protects your business interests.

Remember to consult with an insurance professional who can provide specific advice tailored to your tour guide business and help you navigate the complexities of insurance coverage.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance . You can also browse the latest Google search results for tour guide business insurance .

13. Select Suppliers

Selecting suppliers is an important aspect of running a tour guide business. Here’s why it matters and how to foster a strong relationship:

Supplier Importance:

  • Establishing a reliable and trustworthy relationship with suppliers is crucial for business success .
  • A good supplier can offer competitive prices, enabling you to provide cost-effective services to customers and increase your profit margin.
  • They ensure you have a consistent supply of necessary items, allowing your business to run smoothly without disruptions.

Building a Strong Relationship:

  • Ensure that both parties benefit financially from the partnership.
  • Promptly pay invoices and communicate clearly to establish trust and foster a positive working relationship.

You create a mutually beneficial partnership by cultivating a strong relationship with your suppliers.

This allows you to access quality products at competitive prices, ensuring customer satisfaction and smooth operations for your tour guide business.

For More See,  How To Choose a Supplier.

14. Physical Setup

Tour Guide Business’s Physical Setup/Layout:

A tour guide business’s physical setup or layout encompasses the arrangement of spaces and facilities. It includes considerations such as:

  • Reception Area: A welcoming space for clients with seating and information materials.
  • Office Space: A designated area for administrative tasks and managing bookings.
  • Storage Area: A space to store equipment, supplies, and promotional materials.
  • Meeting Room: A dedicated area for client consultations or team meetings.
  • Break Room: A comfortable space for tour guides and staff to rest and recharge.

Signage for Tour Guide Business:

To guide and attract customers, setting up appropriate signage is important. Consider the following:

  • Business Sign: Install a prominent sign outside your headquarters to increase visibility and attract potential customers.
  • Directional Signs: Place signs in key areas to guide visitors to waiting areas, parking, restrooms, or other relevant locations.

Office Setup:

Your office plays a crucial role in managing your tour guide business. Consider the following:

  • Organization: Maintain a well-organized workspace to enhance productivity and efficiency.
  • Essential Equipment: Ensure your office has necessary tools like computers, printers, and communication devices.
  • Functional Furniture: Choose ergonomic and functional furniture to support comfort and productivity.
  • Storage Solutions: Implement storage systems to keep documents, supplies, and files organized and easily accessible.

A well-designed office setup promotes a conducive working environment, allowing you to efficiently manage your tour guide business and provide excellent client service.

See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

15. Creating a Website

Having a website for your tour guide business offers several benefits:

  • Online Presence: A website provides an online platform where potential customers can find and learn about your services.
  • Increased Visibility: It expands your reach by allowing your business to be discovered by a wider audience, including tourists and travelers from different locations.
  • Information Hub: Your website serves as a central hub for sharing details about your tours, destinations, itineraries, pricing, and contact information.
  • Credibility and Trust: A professional website establishes credibility and builds trust among potential customers, demonstrating your professionalism and expertise.
  • Booking Convenience: Visitors can easily book tours or inquire about your services directly through your website, providing convenience for both you and your customers.
  • Showcasing Reviews and Testimonials: Displaying customer reviews and testimonials on your website helps build social proof, influencing others to choose your services.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Your website enables you to showcase your unique selling points, highlight special offers, and implement digital marketing strategies to attract more customers.

Overall, having a website for your tour guide business enhances your online presence, increases visibility, builds credibility, and provides a convenient platform for attracting and engaging potential customers.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business .

16. Create an External Support Team

An external professional support team is valuable for a tour guide business. These individuals provide advice and services and are not part of your regular payroll . Instead, you engage their services as needed, either through contracts or hourly rates.

Benefits of Having an External Support Team:

  • Access to specialized expertise and guidance in various areas.
  • Flexibility to utilize their services when required.
  • Cost-effective compared to hiring full-time employees for every role.
  • Opportunity to tap into a diverse range of skills and perspectives.
  • Ability to focus on your core business while relying on professionals for specific tasks.

Building Your External Support Team:

  • Accountant: Assists with financial management, bookkeeping, and tax planning.
  • Lawyer: Provides legal advice and helps with contracts and regulations.
  • Financial Advisor: Offers guidance on investment strategies and financial planning.
  • Marketing Specialist: Assists with marketing campaigns, branding, and online presence.
  • Technical Advisors: Provides expertise on technology-related matters.
  • Consultants: Offers specialized knowledge and assistance in specific areas.
  • Network and seek recommendations to find reputable professionals.
  • Engage in conversations, attend industry events, and build connections.
  • Start with one or two key roles and expand the team as needed.

Having a reliable external support team ensures you can access expert advice and services when needed.

Continuously working on cultivating these professional relationships can greatly benefit your tour guide business in the long run.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

17. Hiring Employees

When starting a tour guide business, you may initially operate independently without hiring employees.

This approach can help manage expenses, especially during the early stages.

However, as your business grows, handling all aspects on your own may become challenging.

Hiring employees can significantly enhance productivity when you find the right individuals for the job .

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your tour guide business grows and becomes successful:

  • Tour Guides : Knowledgeable individuals to lead and conduct tours for your clients.
  • Operations Manager : Oversees day-to-day operations and ensures the smooth functioning of the business.
  • Customer Service Representative : Handles inquiries and bookings and assists customers.
  • Marketing Specialist : Develops and implements marketing strategies to promote your business.
  • Administrative Assistant : Assists with administrative tasks, scheduling, and record-keeping.
  • Accountant : Manages financial transactions, bookkeeping, and tax-related matters.
  • IT Support : Provides technical assistance and ensures smooth functioning of technology systems.
  • Web Designer/Developer : Creates and maintains your business website.
  • Graphic Designer : Designs promotional materials and branding assets.
  • Content Writer : Develop engaging content for your website, blog, and marketing materials.

Remember, as your tour guide business grows and becomes successful, you can consider filling these positions or outsourcing the services to support your expanding operations effectively.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.

Points To Consider

Marketing ideas.

Marketing your tour guide business is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort. The more you invest in effective marketing techniques, the more revenue you can generate for your business.

You don’t always need a marketing agency to promote your business. Instead, consider it as a way of raising awareness and seizing opportunities whenever they arise. Here are some simple yet effective marketing strategies for your tour guide business:

  • Create a professional website to showcase your services, tours, and contact information.
  • Utilize social media platforms to engage with potential customers and share updates about your business.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to leave a positive impression on your clients.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word and recommend your tours to their friends and family.
  • Form partnerships with hotels, travel agencies, and other local businesses to cross-promote each other’s services.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Google, as positive reviews can attract new customers.
  • Attend tourism fairs, local festivals, or community gatherings to promote your tours and connect with potential customers.

Remember, effective marketing is an ongoing effort, and it’s about raising awareness and seizing opportunities to showcase the unique experiences your tour guide business offers.

See our article How To Get Customers Through the Door ; you’ll find a few ideas you can use.

See our marketing section for articles that will provide ideas to bring awareness to your tour guide business.

Focusing on your skill set and evaluating if you have the right skills is crucial when running a tour guide business. It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. If you lack an essential skill, you can either learn it or hire someone with that expertise.

Essential Skills for a Tour Guide Business Owner:

  • Excellent Communication: Ability to engage and communicate effectively with tourists, conveying information clearly and engagingly.
  • Knowledge of Local Attractions: Deep understanding of the destinations, landmarks, history, and culture related to the tours you offer.
  • Customer Service: Strong customer service skills to provide exceptional experiences, handle inquiries, and address customer needs.
  • Organization and Time Management: Efficiently managing bookings, schedules, and itineraries to ensure smooth operations.
  • Problem-Solving : Quick thinking and adaptability to handle unexpected situations or challenges during tours.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Ability to adjust plans and cater to different customer preferences or changing circumstances.
  • Public Speaking: Comfortable speaking in front of groups, delivering engaging and informative commentary.
  • Leadership and Teamwork: If managing a team of tour guides, leadership skills and the ability to foster teamwork and collaboration.
  • Safety and Emergency Procedures: Knowledge of safety protocols, first aid, and emergency procedures to ensure customers’ well-being.
  • Sales and Marketing: Basic understanding of sales and marketing principles to promote and attract customers to your tours.

Remember, while some skills can be learned or acquired over time, it’s important to assess your existing skills and continuously work on improving them for the success of your tour guide business.

Hours of Operation:

When determining the hours of operation for a tour guide business, consider the following:

  • Determine the specific hours during which you can conduct tours based on the destinations and attractions you offer.
  • Consider any restrictions or regulations imposed by local authorities or tourist sites.
  • Identify the peak times when most tourists visit your area or when demand for tours is highest.
  • Adjust your hours of operation to accommodate these peak hours and maximize customer engagement.
  • Take into consideration any seasonal fluctuations in tourist activity.
  • Adjust your hours to align with the peak tourist seasons and potentially scale back during slower periods.
  • Consider any special events, holidays, or festivals in your area that may attract tourists.
  • Extend your hours or offer special tours during these occasions to cater to the increased demand.
  • Pay attention to customer preferences and feedback regarding tour timings.
  • Adapt your hours of operation to align with the preferences of your target audience.

Remember, the hours of operation for a tour guide business can vary based on factors such as location, tourist demand, and seasonality. Regularly evaluate and adjust your hours to best serve your customers and optimize your business’s performance.

A List of Equipment You May Need for a Tour Guide Business:

  • Transportation Vehicle: Depending on the nature of your tours, you might need a car, van, or bus to transport your customers.
  • Navigation Devices: GPS devices or apps can be useful in keeping the tour on track and avoiding getting lost.
  • Audio Equipment: If you’re guiding large groups, you might need a microphone and portable speakers. Tour guide systems with wireless microphones and headsets could be very useful.
  • Mobile Devices: Smartphones or tablets can help with directions, fact-checking, and showing clients visual aids.
  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot: Internet access can be crucial for online bookings, emergency contacts, or digital presentations during the tour.
  • First Aid Kit: It’s essential to have a basic first aid kit for any minor injuries or illnesses.
  • Defibrillator: This is critical emergency equipment that can be used in cases of life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias.
  • Weather Equipment: Depending on the climate, you might need items like umbrellas, sunscreens, water bottles, etc.
  • Camping Equipment: For outdoor or adventure tours, you might need equipment such as tents, hiking gear, or binoculars.
  • Office Equipment: For your administrative office, you might need a computer, printer, telephone, fax machine, etc.
  • Promotional Material: Items like business cards, brochures, banners, or signs to advertise your business.

Safety should always be a priority when planning and executing tours, so including equipment like a defibrillator is a prudent choice.

In this section of the post, you will find valuable resources for your tour guide business.

These resources can be used while your business is up and running, and they offer valuable insights into the industry and tips for enhancing your operations.

By exploring these resources, you can better understand the tour guide industry and access useful information to improve your business.

Industry Trends and Statistics

Looking at industry trends and statistics for a tour guide business offers several benefits.

It helps you stay informed about the market, understand customer preferences, make informed business decisions, identify growth opportunities, and stay competitive in the industry.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to a tour guide business.

Tour Guide Associations

Trade associations provide several advantages for tour guide businesses. They keep you updated on industry news, offer networking opportunities, and host events that allow you to connect with industry professionals.

These benefits are valuable for staying informed and expanding your network within the tour guide industry.

See the search results for tour guide associations.

Top Tour Guide Business

Examining established tour guide businesses can be beneficial in generating ideas for your own business.

It allows you to identify gaps in the industry that you can fill or uncover areas of improvement that you may have overlooked. This process helps enhance your business strategy and differentiate yourself in the market.

See the latest search results for the top tour guide businesses.

The Future of the Tour Guide Industry

Researching the future of the tour guide industry provides valuable insights for aspiring business owners.

It helps in understanding emerging trends, anticipating customer demands, and adapting strategies accordingly.

This research enables informed decision-making, enhances competitiveness, and increases the chances of long-term success in the industry.

See the search results for the future of the tour guide industry.

Researching industry prices when starting a tour guide business offers several benefits. It helps you understand market rates, determine competitive pricing, and set prices that align with customer expectations.

This research enables you to make informed pricing decisions and position your business competitively in the market.

See the latest tour guide prices.

Tour Guide Businesses for Sale

When considering a tour guide business, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying an existing business that’s already up and running.

The Benefits of buying an established tour guide business include the following:

  • Immediate Revenue: You start earning money immediately from the day you take over.
  • Skip the Startup Phase: You can avoid the challenges of starting from scratch and focus on growing the business.
  • Proven Success: The business has a track record of working and generating revenue, profit, and expenses.
  • Existing Customer Base: You already have a customer base, providing a foundation for continued business.
  • Established Reputation: The business has built a reputation over time, which can attract more customers.

However, there are also disadvantages to buying an existing business, such as:

  • Higher Cost: The purchase price is usually higher due to the value of the customer base and established goodwill.
  • Potential Customer Loss: If you want to make changes to the business, it may result in losing some existing customers.
  • Inherited Reputation: When you acquire the business, you also inherit its reputation, which may include both positive and negative aspects.

Considering these pros and cons can help you decide whether to buy an existing tour guide business or start from scratch.

See tour guide – businesses for sale to browse the latest listings.

Tour Guide Franchise Opportunities

Considering a tour guide franchise has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s worth exploring before starting a business from scratch.

Pros of Buying a Tour Guide Franchise:

  • Proven Business Model: You can simply follow the established plan created by the corporate office.
  • Existing Reputation and Marketing: Benefit from the franchise’s established reputation and marketing efforts.
  • In-depth Knowledge: You can access comprehensive business information before getting involved.
  • Corporate Support: Receive support and guidance from the corporate office throughout your operations.

Cons of Buying a Tour Guide Franchise:

  • Higher Cost: Purchasing a franchise can be expensive due to initial fees and ongoing royalties.
  • Limited Flexibility: Making significant changes to the business may require approval from the corporate office.
  • Product and Service Restrictions: You are limited to offering only approved products and services.
  • Operational Restrictions: Your business operations must adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the franchise agreement.
  • Ongoing Franchise Fees: Regular payments of franchise fees are required as part of the agreement.

Carefully considering these pros and cons will help you decide if buying a tour guide franchise is the right path for your business venture.

See tourism franchise opportunities to browse the latest listings.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

There is a wealth of information available online about the tour guide industry. By following the provided links in the following sections, you can access valuable resources to assist you in your research, startup phase, and ongoing operations of your business.

These resources will equip you with insights and guidance to make informed decisions and enhance the success of your tour guide business.

A Day in the Life

“A Day in the Life of a tour guide business owner” provides valuable tips and insights from industry professionals.

This resource offers an overview of what to expect in a tour guide business’s daily operations, helping you better understand the role and its responsibilities.

See the search results for a day in the life of tour guide business owners.

Publications

Publications are an excellent way to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest information about the tour guide business.

They provide valuable insights, industry trends, and helpful tips to help you navigate and succeed in the tour guide industry.

See the search results for publications related to a tour guide business.

Visiting tour guide forums provides an opportunity to discuss hot topics.

Active participation in these forums allows you to connect with fellow industry professionals, build relationships, and gain insights from their experiences and perspectives.

See the latest search results for the top tour guide forums.

Courses related to the tour guide business offer valuable opportunities to learn, enhance your skills, and stay up-to-date with industry trends. These courses provide practical knowledge, improve your capabilities, and equip you with the necessary skills to thrive in the tour guide industry.

By enrolling in such courses, you can gain valuable insights, learn best practices, and stay current in this dynamic field, ultimately increasing your chances of success as a tour guide business owner.

See the latest courses related to running a tour guide business.

Tour Guide Blogs

Subscribing to tour guide blogs is a great way to gather ideas and stay updated with the industry. You can explore various blogs, subscribe to the ones that resonate with you, and unsubscribe from those that don’t add value.

This curated collection of blogs will provide you with a valuable stream of information that you can utilize in your tour guide business.

Look at the latest search results for tour guide blogs  to follow.

Books are a valuable source of information to support you in starting a tour guide business. They offer in-depth knowledge, practical insights, and guidance to help you navigate the industry successfully.

The latest books about starting a tour guide business are listed on Amazon

Following the news makes staying updated with the tour guide industry easy. Set up alerts to receive timely notifications whenever there is new coverage about the industry, helping you stay informed and abreast of the latest developments.

See what’s in the news about tour guides.

Videos about the tour guide industry provide valuable tips and insights. When watching such videos, pay attention to the related videos that YouTube suggests, as they often cover topics you may not have considered, expanding your knowledge and understanding of the industry.

See the links to YouTube Videos Below.

  • Videos related to starting a tour guide can be found here.

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The essential guide to visiting West Virginia

Here’s everything you need to know about the mountain state’s rushing rivers, Appalachian hikes, and historic cities.

Why you should visit West Virginia 

Towering mountains . Rushing rivers ideal for white-water rafting  (one of National Geographic’s top 20 Best of the World travel adventures for 2024 ). America’s newest national park . Appalachian cuisine  and folk music .

Best time to visit West Virginia

Spring : Late April through May, yellow trout lily, purple larkspur, and other wildflowers frame hiking paths such as the Blackwater River Trail in Canaan Valley Resort State Park , the Stone Cliff Trail in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve , or the Central Trail loop in   Cacapon Resort State Park .  It’s also ramps season , when the foraged wild onions headline on restaurant menus, at the Ramps and Rail Festival in Elkins, and even in allium-forward wine .

Summer : With the highest average elevation east of the Mississippi River, West Virginia often has pleasantly cool summer temperatures. In steamier weather, visitors chill out by white-water rafting on the Lower Gauley or Cheat Rivers or by tubing in the Shenandoah or Potomac Rivers . The West Virginia Waterfall Trail   spotlights cascades in places including Babcock State Park   and   Monongahela National Forest .

July festivals include the Sternwheel Regatta with boat races along the Kanawha River in Charleston and the Contemporary American Theater Festival of new plays in Shepherdstown.

Autumn:  Gauley Season opens 25 miles of the legendary river to rafters   in September and October—arrange a trip with   ACE Adventure Resort   or Adventures on the Gorge . Also thrilling: watching BASE jumpers hurl themselves off of the 3,030-foot long, 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge during the Bridge Day festival in Fayetteville.

See September and October’s peak fall foliage on scenic drives, hiking trails, or by riding restored trains, the Potomac Eagle and the New Tygart Flyer .

Winter:  In the eastern part of West Virginia, mountainous terrain (40 peaks above 4,000 feet!) and high average snowfalls attract skiers, sledders, and tubers. Downhill schussers and snowboarders head to Timberline Mountain   and Canaan Valley Ski Resort . Nearby, Blackwater Falls State Park appeals to families with a quarter-mile-long sled run and cabins with wood-burning fireplaces. 

Lay of the land

Cities and towns:  West Virginia is within a day’s drive of nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. In its eastern panhandle, mountain-framed Berkeley Springs has been a spa town since colonial times and Shepherdstown has Civil War history, restaurants, and shops in rehabbed vintage buildings. 

Along the Monongahela River  in the northern part of the state,   Morgantown is home to scenic covered bridges, museums, and green spaces such as the West Virginia Botanic Garden .

The state capital, Charleston , at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk Rivers in the southwestern part of the state, has waterside trails, street murals, and the Capitol Market ,   a   food and crafts bazaar in a vintage train station.

Southeast of Charleston in the Appalachian foothills, Beckley has been a coal mining hub since the late 19th century. Visitors can take mine tours or browse for local crafts at the Tamarack cultural center.

In the south central part of the state, Fayetteville ’s breweries, restaurants, and gear shops appeal to adventurers headed to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve next door. 

Parks:  New River Gorge National Park and Preserve opened in 2020 on 72,000 acres of wooded hills, deep ravines, and Appalachian plateau. The 63rd U.S. national park is popular with hikers, rafters, and mountain bikers. 

At the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers in West Virginia’s easternmost corner, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park recreates and preserves the 19th-century railroad town where John Brown staged the 1859 rebellion that sparked the Civil War. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail   crosses through town.

Nearly 80 percent of West Virginia is forested with 27 different tree species. In the state’s north central highlands, the Monongahela National Forest (including the pristine Dolly Sods Wilderness ) covers nearly a million acres ideal for horseback riding, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing.

There are 35 state parks and nine state forests, including Cooper Rock State Forest   with its sandstone cliffs ,  and Blackwater Falls State Park with a 57-foot-high waterfall and hiking trails.

Getting around West Virginia

By car:  West Virginia is easily accessible by six interstates. You’ll need a car to explore its scenic highways and backroads. EV charging stations are available in most cities, many towns, and several state parks. Mountain areas may require AWD, 4WD, or chains during snowy weather.

By bus : Megabus has a station in Morgantown; there are Greyhound stations in Charleston, Huntington, Beckley, Bluefield, Morgantown, Fairmont, and Bridgeport.

By train: Amtrak’s  Capitol Limited  train   operates   daily to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg; the Amtrak Cardinal   runs weekly to White Sulphur Springs, Alderson, Hinton, Prince, Thurmond, Montgomery, Charleston, and Huntington.

In town:  Larger cities and towns have bus service and bike share or rental programs, including the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority in Charleston, the Tri-State Transit Authority   in Huntington, and Morgantown’s Mountain Line Transit Authority .

Know before you go

Cultural History: West Virginia’s human history begins with nomadic Paleo-Indians who inhabited the area as early as 11,000 B.C. The historic peoples most associated with the region include the Cherokee , Delaware , Shawnee, and Iroquoian-speaking  peoples. Enslaved Africans  were forced to work in areas that include Greenbrier, Monongahela, and Kanawha in the 18th and 19th centuries.

West Virginia is the only state formed as a result of the Civil War , carved out of western Virginia and added to the union by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery here on February 3, 1865. 

LGBTQ+: Same-sex marriage wasn’t recognized in West Virginia until 2014. The state ranks 31st on Out Leadership’s annual State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index for 2023. Cities such as Charleston, Morgantown, Huntington, and Harpers Ferry host Pride festivals .

How to visit West Virginia sustainably 

Help preserve habitat by sticking to designated trails and roads and leaving no trace. When visiting public lands , properly extinguish campfires. Eat at locavore restaurants and try foraged foods such as ginseng and ramps.

What to read and watch 

Another Appalachia by Neema Avashia. A queer Asian American teacher and writer hysterically and poignantly details her triumphs and struggles living in West Virginia.

Feast of the Seven Fishes directed by Robert Tinnell. Set in a Rust Belt mining town in the 1980s, this 2018 holiday film depicts Italian-American family life.

The Grand Design: A Novel of Dorothy Draper   by Joy Callaway. A historical novel—set at White Sulphur Spring s ’ extravagantly decorated Greenbrier —imagines the life and love story of Draper, the mid-20th-century interior designer who decked out the resort.

Rocket Boys   by Homer Hickam. This memoir set in 1950s Coalwood traces Hickam’s early obsession with Sputnik, which led him to a NASA career. (This also inspired the movie  October Sky .)

Read This Next

10 best things to do in north carolina, the essential guide to visiting alaska, the essential guide to visiting ireland, the essential guide to visiting north carolina.

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Become a Guide

The University Guide Service is a volunteer tour-giving organization that provides the admissions and historical tours of the University of Virginia. UGS is a special-status organization that embodies a spirit of student self-governance and seeks to foster a sense of unity and cohesion among its members. Each Guide has the privilege and responsibility to craft and present their own, unique tours as they see fit and we encourage our Guides to tell stories from their individual experience at UVA.

We want to hear your story and encourage you to give a trial tour during the upcoming semester's recruitment cycle!

Every semester, we recruit first through third year undergraduate students to serve as both admissions and historical tour guides.

Click here to learn about the Spring 2024 recruitment cycle: information, important dates, fact sheets, and FAQs about recruitment.

Click here to learn more about what it’s like to be a Guide

Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Star Award Winners, The World’s Most Welcoming Countries And More Travel News

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Forbes Travel Guide Announces 2024 Star Awards

O n Wednesday, Forbes Travel Guide revealed its 2024 Star Award winners , a list of the world’s finest hotels, restaurants, spas and cruises. To compile the 66th annual awards, FTG’s incognito inspectors check into hotels and cruise ships, dine in the restaurants and experience spa services while posing as ordinary guests. This year’s list features properties from Mauritius to Macau—with the most new Five-Star hotels in the Middle East.

Set Sail on the ‘Flying Frenchman’ in the US Virgin Islands

Most travelers who book an island vacation either want to be in the water or on it. At The Westin Beach Resort & Spa in the U.S. Virgin Islands, guests can enjoy the new 65-foot luxury catamaran, The Flying Frenchman , which docks at Frenchman’s Reef . The boat, which can accommodate 125 passengers, offers sunset and dinner cruises, snorkeling trips and an open bar—for those want to raise a glass to their good fortune.

The 20 Most Welcoming Places on Earth

Looking for a friendly place to visit on your next vacation, somewhere you’ll feel welcome? Booking.com just released its 12th annual Traveller Review Awards, which reveals the 20 most welcoming destinations on earth . The rankings are based on the amount of awarded accommodations in each city with excellence in staffing and hospitality. Topping the list for 2024 is Arraial d’Ajuda, Brazil, a tranquil beach retreat with a beautiful coastline.

It’s estimated that 7 out of 10 people reduce their travel activity due to some kind of disability. And air travel can be particularly tricky, particularly if a wheelchair is required. The travel research company Skytrax recently released its annual World Airport Awards and named the world’s most accessible airports for people with disabilities. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport was ranked No. 1 with Japan’s Kansai International Airport and Seoul Incheon Airport rounding out the top three.

Inside the Oberoi Concours d’Elegance

For rare and antique car lovers, the annual Concours d’Elegance competitions—most notably at California’s Pebble Beach and Florida’s Amelia Island—are among the highlights of the automotive year. Beginning February 16, a new Concours d’Elegance is coming to India —at the Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur. The three-day event will culminate with an awards presentation and Best of Show trophy.

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Enter the Year of the Dragon: A 2024 guide to Lunar New Year

At this very moment, millions of people around the world are busy preparing for one of the year’s biggest festivals – Lunar New Year, which marks the first new moon of the lunar calendar.

This year, it falls on February 10, kicking off the 15-day Spring Festival.

Whether you’re unfamiliar with Lunar New Year or need a refresher, this guide will highlight some of the most common traditions associated with the occasion.

Why is it the Year of the Dragon?

Though incredibly complex, the Chinese zodiac calendar is best described as a 12-year cycle represented by 12 different animals, in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Your personal zodiac animal sign is determined by your year of birth, meaning 2024 will welcome plenty of baby dragons to the world. Those born in 2025 will be snakes, and so on.

Followers believe that for each Chinese zodiac sign, luck will depend largely on the positions of the Tai Sui – a collective name for the stellar deities thought to rotate parallel to and in the opposite direction of Jupiter.

Different geomancy masters may interpret the data differently, but there is usually a consensus on what the year means for each zodiac animal based on the positions of the stars.

Why light firecrackers and wear red? Meet Nian

There are countless folk tales attached to Lunar New Year, but the myth of “Nian” stands out as one of the most fun.

Legend has it Nian was a ferocious underwater beast with sharp teeth and horns. Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, it crawled onto the land and attacked a nearby village.

On one such occasion, as the villagers rushed into hiding, a mysterious old man showed up and insisted on sticking around despite being warned of impending doom.

To the villagers’ surprise, the old man and the village survived utterly unscathed.

The man claimed to have scared Nian away by hanging red banners on the door, lighting firecrackers and donning red clothing.

This is why wearing the fiery color, along with hanging red banners and lighting firecrackers or fireworks, are Lunar New Year traditions, all of which are still followed today.

The preparation

Fun aside, Lunar New Year can actually be a lot of work. Festivities often last for 15 days – sometimes even more – with different tasks and activities taking place over that period.

It all begins about a week ahead of the new year.

Festive cakes and puddings are made on the 24th day of the last lunar month (February 3 in 2024). Why? The word for cakes and puddings is “gao” in Mandarin and “gou” in Cantonese, which sound the same as the word for “tall.”

As a result, eating these treats is believed to lead to improvements and growth in the coming year. (If you haven’t prepared your own “gou” yet, here’s an  easy recipe for turnip cake , a beloved Lunar New Year dish.)

And don’t forget about our friend Nian. No Lunar New Year preparation would be complete without the aforementioned hanging of red banners bearing auspicious phrases and idioms (called fai chun in Cantonese, or chunlian, in Mandarin) at home – beginning with one’s front door.

These will perform double duty – keep Nian away and invite good fortune.

Not all prep work is fun. According to Lunar New Year tradition, a big cleanup should be carried out in homes on the 28th day of the last lunar month, which falls on February 7 this year.

The aim is to rid your home of any bad luck that’s accumulated over the past year.

And don’t clean anything again till February 12, or you’re washing away all that good luck that came in at the start of the new year.

On a related note, some say you shouldn’t wash or cut your hair on the first day of the new year either.

Why? The Chinese character for hair is the first character in the word for prosper. Therefore washing or cutting it off is seen as washing your fortune away.

You’ll also want to avoid purchasing footwear for the entire lunar month, as the term for shoes (haai) sounds like losing and sighing in Cantonese.

(Read more  Lunar New Year dos and don’ts here .)

Lunar New Year’s Eve: The big feast

A big family reunion dinner is usually held on Lunar New Year’s Eve, which falls on February 9 this year.

The menu is carefully chosen to include dishes associated with luck, including fish (the Chinese word for it also sounds like “surplus”), puddings (symbolizes advancement) and foods that look like gold ingots (like dumplings).

In China, the foods served at these classic dinners vary from north to south. For instance, northern Chinese tend to have dumplings and noodles, whereas southern Chinese can’t live without steamed rice.

But no matter which dishes you prefer, Lunar New Year foods are a feast of wordplay.

Lunar New Year’s Day: Family visits and red packets

The first few days of the Lunar New Year, especially the first two days, are often a test of one’s stamina, appetite and social skills, as many people have to travel and visit immediate family, other relatives and friends.

Bags are stocked with presents and fruits to give out at homes visited. Visitors will in turn be showered with gifts after exchanging conversations over Lunar New Year treats.

Married people also have to give out red packets to those who haven’t yet tied the knot – both children and unmarried juniors.

It’s believed these envelopes – known as hongbao/lai see – could protect children by warding off evil spirits called sui.

Day 3: Visit a temple

Day three of the Lunar New Year (which falls on February 12 in 2024) is named “chi kou/cek hau,” or red mouth.

It’s believed that arguments are more likely to happen on this day, so people will avoid social interactions and instead visit temples.

While there, some will use the opportunity to make offerings to offset any potential bad luck. As noted earlier, for many people  Lunar New Year is a time to consult the stars to find out what lies ahead in the coming months.

Every year, certain Chinese zodiac signs clash with the stars negatively so temple visits are considered a good way to resolve those conflicts and bring peace in the coming months.

Day 7: The people’s birthday

The seventh day of the Lunar New Year (February 16 in 2024) is said to be when the Chinese mother goddess, Nuwa, created humanity. Thus, it’s called renri/jan jat (the people’s birthday).

Different communities in Asia will serve various birthday foods on that day.

For instance, people in Malaysia enjoy yeesang, or a “Prosperity Toss” of raw fish and shredded vegetables, whereas Cantonese people eat sweet rice balls.

Day 15: The Lantern Festival

The highlight of the whole Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival happens on the 15th and final day (February 24 in 2024).

Called Yuan Xiao Jie in Mandarin Chinese, it’s considered the perfect ending to the weeks-long Lunar New Year preparations and celebrations.

The Lantern Festival celebrates the first full moon of the year – hence the name (Yuan means beginning. Xiao means night).

It marks the departure of winter and the beginning of the spring season.

On this day, people light lanterns to symbolize driving out darkness and bringing hope to the coming year.

In ancient Chinese society, it was the only day when young girls were allowed to go out to admire the lanterns and meet boys. As a result, it’s also been dubbed Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Nowadays, cities worldwide still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the festival’s final day. Some Chinese cities, such as Chengdu, even host dramatic fire dragon dances .

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com

Tourists visit a Lunar New Year Lantern Festival in Shanghai on January 21, 2024. - Costfoto/Sipa USA

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