Tourist information centre assistant
£12,500 + per year
Tourist information centres (TICs) provide information to visitors about local areas. As a tourist information centre assistant or officer, you would give information to visitors on transport, tourist attractions and local services and activities.
In this job you would need to have a pleasant and friendly manner, and a good general knowledge of the local area. If you've got good customer service skills and you want to work in tourism, this could be the job for you.
You don't need any specific qualifications to get into this job, but it can help you to find work if you have five GCSEs (A-C), including English and maths.
As a tourist information centre (TIC) assistant, your work would include:
- answering customer queries in person, and by phone and email
- giving information, using computer systems, leaflets, timetables, guidebooks and national TIC reference kits
- making bookings, for example coach travel, theatre performances and accommodation
- setting up displays within the centre, and keeping the place tidy
- keeping up to date with local accommodation, places to visit, activities and events
- re-stocking literature.
You would also be responsible for selling goods like guidebooks, postcards and stamps, local craft items, gifts and souvenirs.
Outside of holiday periods, you may get the chance to visit local attractions so that you can recommend them to visitors at the TIC.
Working hours and conditions
Your working hours would vary depending on your geographical location.
A lot of TIC centres open daily in peak periods, so you may work weekends and bank holidays. Many jobs are part-time, and some TICs only open for the summer season.
You could work in a separate TIC building or in places like local authority offices, libraries, museums, ports and airports.
Tourist information centre assistants can earn from £12,500 to £16,000 year depending on their geographical location.
As a manager of a tourist information centre, you could earn between £14,000 and £24,000 a year.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Although you don’t need any specific qualifications for this role, there can be a lot of competition for TIC assistant jobs. It may improve your prospects of finding work if you have some GCSEs (A-C), including English and maths, or a relevant qualification such as:
- Level 2 Diploma in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel & Tourism
- Level 2 Diploma in Travel and Tourism.
You can find more information about relevant courses on the Hospitality Guild website. The Hospitality Guild unites training providers, businesses and individuals, and offers information and advice about careers in hospitality and tourism. Their website also has interactive tools that can help you to plan and develop your career.
Experience of customer service and cash handling will also be useful, and you may also have an advantage if you can speak one or more foreign languages. This may be essential for work in an airport, port or major tourism destination.
Training and development
As a new TIC assistant, you would receive most of your training whilst you are working. You might also attend Tourist Board induction courses and other specialist TIC skills courses, covering areas such as:
- specific TIC services
- national reference material
- product knowledge
- selling and promotional skills
- customer service training.
You may also be able to work towards:
- Level 2 Award in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism
- Level 2 (NVQ) Certificate in Tourism Services.
If you want to move into management, it could help if you have a relevant qualification such as the Level 3 Award in Principles of Supervising Customer Service Performance in HLTT.
Skills, interests and qualities
To be a tourist information centre assistant you should have:
- a pleasant, friendly manner
- excellent customer service skills
- listening and questioning skills, both face to face and on the telephone
- the ability to work calmly and efficiently under pressure
- a good general knowledge of the local area and its attractions and facilities
- a smart appearance
- enthusiasm for constantly updating your knowledge and skills
- IT skills.
Institute of Travel and Tourism
PO Box 217
Tel: 0844 4995 653
Vacancies may be advertised in local newspapers, at Jobcentre Plus offices and on LGjobs, the recruitment website for local government. You can contact local TICs directly, there is a full list on the Visit England website.
With experience you could be promoted to a TIC supervisory or management position.
You could also have the opportunity to move into local authority tourism departments, regional or area tourist board jobs, or to other areas of the travel and tourism industry.
Job market information
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