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Performing arts

Tour manager

Tour managers manage the travel arrangements of holidaymakers and business clients to make sure their trips run smoothly.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

28 to 30 seasonal

You could work: on call; as customers demand

Future employment

There will be 0.5% fewer Tour manager jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could offer services to the public or business clients and would typically:

  • meet and greet people
  • explain travel arrangements and give details of stopover points
  • make sure accommodation, meals and services are satisfactory
  • help with passport and immigration issues
  • give talks about places of interest or find local tourist guides to do them
  • promote and sell trips
  • advise on sights, local restaurants and shops at each destination
  • record issues that may require follow-up after the tour
  • give advice, solve problems and deal with emergencies like loss of passports or money, illness or difficulties with accommodation

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in a hotel or in holiday accomodation.

Your working environment may be crowded, outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like travel and tourism management, although this isn't essential.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could take a college course like a Level 4 Diploma in Tourism Management, which may give you some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information

You may be able to get into this job through a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information

You could move into this job after getting experience in a related role like a travel agent, tour guide or tour rep.

Direct application

You can apply for jobs directly if you have:

  • experience of working with people
  • a friendly and approachable manner
  • a keen interest in the culture, geography and history of the locations covered by the tour
  • a good working knowledge of foreign languages if touring overseas
  • experience of working overseas if the job you're applying for is based abroad

Employers may ask for a good general standard of education, like some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), particularly in maths and English.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Travel & Tourism, which offers industry training courses, news and networking opportunities to members.

Further information

You can find more information on careers in the travel industry from the Institute of Travel &Tourism.

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

You could also set up your own tour business.

You could join the Institute of Travel & Tourism, which offers industry training courses, news and networking opportunities to members.

Careers That Move has more information about this role.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to think clearly in a crisis
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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