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.
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.
To be a tour manager you should:
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.
If you would like to know anything about Tour Operator Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
38 Market Square
Tel: 0870 060 2550
61 Chertsey Road
Tel: 01483 727321
Federation of Tour Operators
Association of Independent Tour Operators
European Tour Operators' Association
6 Weighhouse Street
Tel: 020 7499 4412
14 Leicester Place
Tel: 020 7734 9569
The Institute of Travel and Tourism
PO Box 217
Tel: 0870 770 7960
International Association of Tour Managers (IATM)
397 Walworth Road
Tel: 020 7703 9154