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How Do I Become a Specialist Tour Operator?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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A specialist tour operator is a person who guides tourists through a particular region or area in a specific fashion or with a set itinerary. These tour operators focus on a specific experience they want the tourist to have, rather than simply taking them on a tour of various sites in a region. In order to become a specialist tour operator, you may want to complete at least a high school education and get a driver's license. Maintain a clean driving record, and obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) in order to become a specialist tour operator capable of moving tourists on buses or other large vehicles.

No set level of education is necessary to become a specialist tour operator, but you will need to have an in-depth knowledge of a particular place or region, as you will be responsible for guiding and educating tourists throughout the length of the tour. You can work for a tour company or you can start one on your own; starting a business on your own is difficult and will require a significant amount of preparation and planning, so if you choose this option, you may want to consider taking a business planning course that will prepare you for the process.

Develop good communication skills and a keen interest in meeting new people. If you want to become a specialist tour operator, you will have to interact with a variety of people with different personalities, and you will need to put their comfort ahead of your own. Most importantly, you will need to be trained in first aid and CPR in order to qualify for a position as a specialist tour operator. Accidents can happen on tours, and you will be the first responder if such accidents should occur.

Learn as much as possible about the specialist tour you will be guiding. Some specialist tours, for example, focus on a specific experience — riding a bicycle through wine country in California, for example. Make sure you are both physically and mentally prepared to become a specialist tour operator, especially if the tour will require rigorous or consistent exercise. The tour operator on a bike tour through wine country will need to be prepared not only to teach tourists how to cycle properly and safely, but also how to enjoy the wineries and the scenery. The operator may need to be able to repair bicycles as well, and educate tourists on grapes, wines, and the winemaking process.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By anon318965 — On Feb 10, 2013

I'm an American living in France and am in constant contact with sports people - coaches, athletes, etc...- who would be interested in seeing how things are done in the US. I can see myself involved in the actual organization and guiding of, say, a group of coaches who would like to meet other coaches, see a game and installations, etc., but not necessarily starting a business to do it. I would like to get in contact with companies that might like to have my services. Any suggestions?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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