Tour manager Travel manager, tour supervisor

Tour managers manage the travel arrangements of holidaymakers and business clients, and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. You’ll be expected to have a good standard of general education, a friendly personality and a smart appearance. You’ll also need an interest in the history and culture of the places you’ll be visiting.

You could gain experience in the travel industry before moving into tour management, like as a tour guide, resort rep or travel agent.

Doing a college course in travel and tourism could also help you get started in this job.

You’ll need foreign language skills if you want to work overseas.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Careers That Move has more information about this role.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to get on well with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • good working knowledge of one or more foreign languages
  • the ability to deal calmly with emergencies
  • good organisational and time management skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • welcoming the tour group and telling them about the travel arrangements and stopover points
  • making sure accommodation, meals and service are satisfactory
  • helping with passport and immigration issues
  • speaking about places on the tour (local guides may also be used)
  • promoting and selling trips
  • advising on sights, local restaurants and shops at each destination
  • recording issues that may require follow-up after the tour
  • giving advice, solving problems and dealing with emergencies like loss of passports or money, illness or difficulties with accommodation
  • managing the travel arrangements for people on business

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000 to £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll be responsible for the group throughout their tour, working from early morning until late in the evening, including weekends. You could be on call 24 hours a day.

You could work full-time or become freelance, working from tour to tour. The work can often be seasonal, with more jobs available during holiday periods.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a tour operations manager or specialise in particular areas, like food and drink breaks, adventure holidays or business travel. 

You could also set up your own tour business.

Last updated: 05 October 2016