Most people doesn't know about this kind of job profile!
I stepped into the travel industry in 2016. Driven by a passion, I was in search of an opportunity that would let me achieve my dream to explore this mysterious and beautiful world.
I found a job in a travel management company in Dubai that paid me for generating the sales and at the same time plan & organize the travel logistics and travel with the groups to destinations across them world. When I started traveling, I used to hear from people, that how lucky I’m and I’m living their dream life. Most of them had no idea what kind of job I do. In 3 years, I travelled to more than 20 countries and by the end of 2019 I decided to make TWG an official travel blog and website for travel inspiration.
What was the Job that sponsored all my travels?
Traveling has become a fashion and most youngsters wants to explore the world and wish for a job that would give them a financial freedom and opportunity to travel the world. Working for an airline as a Cabin Crew is the most known job amongst the others when it comes to traveling for free. In my opinion, it is overrated. Cabin crews didn’t fit my choice, so I decided to look for other options.
A lot of reputed travel companies that organizes group travels has a policy of escorting the groups with their own staff, and they call this person - Tour Manager. Tour Manager travels with the group to all the places as per the itinerary of the tour and ensures a comfortable journey for the group. Truth be known, it isn’t easy to manage a group of people but it is an amazing job for somebody who’s passionate about traveling.
It wasn’t an easy start though, I had to sacrifice a huge pay cut that I used to make in my HR job. I was new to the industry, so I was considered a fresher and I had to start fresh. I always hated sales as it takes a lot of convincing and constant follow up to sell something. I was motivated to do so because I was chasing my passion for travel.
I joined this travel company as a business development executive and a part of my jobs role was to generate sales and keep up the business relations with companies, schools, and universities, embassies and as tour manager, travel with the groups for their incentive, educational, and leisure travel.
As it was a medium-sized company so my job role involved multiple tasks, from generating the sales to liaising with Consulates for visa purposes to keeping relations with airline representatives, execute the whole trip which involved further liaising with transport companies, tour agencies in a destination, travel guides and everything that involves the travel logistics.
On other side, there are big-size travel companies, where Tour Manager is an individual role, which demands to only manage the groups while traveling with them. These Tour Managers sometimes stays for months on trips with groups after group due to high volume of business of these companies.
What are the Skills needed to be a Tour Manager?
Travel History: It would be a great advantage for you if you have travelled across borders. Traveling gives you exposure about countries, cultures and know-how about different destinations and that is essential for this job. The irony is that a lot of travel agents who make the trip itineraries and arrange the services for you, have never traveled those destinations, but still they grasp the required information while on the job and by reading from multiple sources, destination trainings, and learning in their cubicle.
People’s Person: You have to be a people’s person for this job. When you are dealing with a group of people you can expect a lot of interaction and they are on vacation and you gotta keep up their excitement and make sure they feel engaged.
Patience: This job requires high tolerance level. Sometimes, you may come access people who like to complaint even when everything is alright and going smooth. You have to stay calm in such a situation and deal with it in a professional behavior.
Effective Communication: When the trips starts, it is the responsibility of the Tour Manager to effectively communicate the tour plan with the group and inform them the timing for every day of the excursions and address to their questions/concerns in a professional manner.
Coordination: During the tour, the Tour Manager must coordinate with the hotel where the group is accommodated and with restaurants which are pr-booked for the group. Also, coordinate with the tour guides and bus driver and ensure everything goes as planned and hassle free.
Foreign Language: It would an added advantage to you if you know an extra foreign language apart from English like Spanish or French or German. They would always shine on your resume specifically for this job profile.
What is the Salary of a Tour Manager?
Salaries of Tour Managers can differ from country to country and based on years of experience in handling the groups. Some companies pays a fixed salary on a monthly basis, some companies pay them a certain percentage or amount per group.
Where does a Tour Manager stay and eat and how does he/she pays for the travel expenses?
As a caretaker of the group, Tour Managers usually stay in the same hotel with the group. Their accommodation is arranged and paid by the travel company. For Food and additional traveling, companies have different policies. Some companies provide them allowances and in some companies Tour Manager have to claim their expenses after the trip.
What are the Working Hours of a Tour Manager?
From the time your journey starts till the end of it, the Tour Manager is on duty. Usually a day trip starts in the morning and ends in the evening, after that ,Tour Manager gets some time off till the next day.