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How to become a Tour Operator Manager

tour operator manager careers

What does a Tour Operator Manager do?

Tour managers work for tour operators, and are responsible for organising and accompanying tours. They make sure all the travel arrangements for a group of tourists run according to plan and that the accommodation, meals and service are satisfactory.

Most tour managers work on coach tours that can last from between two or three days to over a month, but they may also work on tours by rail or cruise ship. They join the party of tourists at the start of their journey, welcome them, and announce details of the travel arrangements and stopover points.

Throughout the journey they may give a spoken commentary on places travelled through or visited, although local guides may also be used. Tour managers liaise closely with the coach driver, agreeing to stop at appropriate times and places. They answer enquires, help the tourists with any problems, and carry out administrative tasks.

What's the working environment like working as a Tour Operator Manager?

Tour managers are responsible for the group throughout their tour and work from early morning until late in the evening, including weekends. They are on call 24 hours a day.

Conditions vary, depending on the type of tour and the area.

What does it take to become a Tour Operator Manager?

To be a tour manager you should:

  • have the ability to get on well with a wide variety of people
  • be outgoing, self-confident, polite and tolerant
  • have excellent communication skills
  • have an interest in geography and historical sites
  • have a good working knowledge of one or more foreign languages
  • be extremely safety-conscious
  • be able to deal with emergencies and not be easily flustered
  • have good organisational skills
  • be energetic and physically fit
  • have a smart and tidy appearance.

Tour Operator Manager Career Opportunities

Tour managers are employed by tour operators that organise group package tours, usually by coach. Tour operators range from large, international companies to small, specialist firms.

Most tour managers work freelance and are employed from tour to tour. Vacancies arise regularly because the work is short-term, but there is strong competition for jobs. Successful tour managers are often invited to continue working for the same tour operator.

Tour managers may enter office-based work for a tour operator in the UK. Some may use their experience to enter other areas of travel and tourism, eg tourist information centres, regional and national tourist boards, and travel agencies. Some tour managers become tourist guides.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Tour Operator Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Springboard UK
3 Denmark Street
London
WC2H 8LP
Tel: 020 7497 8654
www.springboarduk.org.uk

People 1st
2nd Floor
Armstrong House
38 Market Square
Uxbridge
Middlesex
UB8 1LH
Tel: 0870 060 2550
www.people1st.co.uk

TTC Training
Chertsey House
61 Chertsey Road
Woking
Surrey
GU21 5BN
Tel: 01483 727321
www.ttctraining.co.uk

Federation of Tour Operators
www.fto.co.uk

Association of Independent Tour Operators
www.aito.co.uk

European Tour Operators' Association
6 Weighhouse Street
London
W1K 5LT
Tel: 020 7499 4412
www.etoa.org

UKinbound
Victory House
14 Leicester Place
London
WC2H 7BZ
Tel: 020 7734 9569
www.bitoa.co.uk

The Institute of Travel and Tourism
PO Box 217
Ware
Hertfordshire
SG12 8WY
Tel: 0870 770 7960
www.itt.co.uk

International Association of Tour Managers (IATM)
397 Walworth Road
London
SE17 2AW
Tel: 020 7703 9154
www.iatm.co.uk

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