\How would you like an all-expenses-paid trip around the world? Visiting foreign lands, meeting interesting people and exploring new places? It sounds too good to be true? Well, believe it or not, thousands of people are happily paid to do this every year by working as a tour guide or escort. Guiding is an interesting job in a growing segment of the travel industry.

The role is extremely varied and could be found working from a museum to a Caribbean island. It is definitely not your normal 9-5 role and the guides have to be adaptable and flexible in their work routine. On longer tours, you may be asked to accompany tourists on trips across continents where their specialized knowledge or language skills may be of particular importance. In addition to working ashore, tour guides are often employed on cruises to provide local information and knowledge to passengers on board. There are also many opportunities to work on trains like Orient Express or Trans-Siberian Railway.

Like much of the travel industry, competition for work is fierce. Candidates should have skills and abilities that set them apart from the crowd. However, with modern travelers now requiring a deeper understanding of the places they visit and the cultures that surround them, the demand for specialized guides will increase. Tour guides with knowledge of ecology, history, or architecture are often in high demand, as well as foreign language and sign language skills.

In addition to specialized knowledge, guides must be able to entertain clients and present themselves well. Could you handle a group of travelers and maintain a good sense of humor at all times? Ultimately, you'll set the tone for the group, and if you're excited and positive about the trip, others will join in and have fun too.

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Employment can usually be found by applying directly to tour operators. You may be asked to prepare a presentation on your chosen topic for your interview, and your presentation style will be as important as your specialized knowledge. You can also obtain a tourist guide certificate through the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. This nonprofit organization aims to improve guidance standards within the travel industry. They also offer training for individuals who are just starting out as tour guides, as well as improvement courses for those who are already employed.

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\How would you like an all-expenses-paid trip around the world? Visiting foreign lands, meeting interesting people and exploring new places