Duties of Tour Guide
By: Komang Wisnu Subagia, S.Pd.
SCOPE OF TOUR GUIDE DUTY
According to the term of a tour guide its self, in general we understand that he has a duty and
responsibility related to the tour activities either individual or group tour. The duty of tour
guide is not only limited to the tour activities ( when tourist visits a certain tourist object ) but
also include all activities started of preparation, pre tour preparation, during the tour and
ending the tour.
In the next segment, it will be talked about the detail duty of a tour guide as follows :
This step is an important thing in supporting fluency of tour guide duty even in any
activity. Without preparation, a job can’t be accomplished well and maximum even it is
possible effect in negative result. Through well preparation, a job ( is it related to tour
guide or any other job ) can be done well according to the plan. Beside that we can
minimize any weakness or accident which happens in implementation.
How important the preparation for guide so the next segment will be talked in detail
about what kind of preparation in handling an individual or group tourist.
The preparation that is needed by a tour guide include the steps as follow :
- Find out the name and the nationality of the tourist
The first step before handling a tourist that is knowing a tourist its self, especially
about name and nationality of tourist. This is necessary by a guide because of each
tourist from any country has a certain characteristic which is different between a
tourist and other. The difference of tourist characteristic will effect to way of a guide
in giving service and also approach is given so that tourist can feel satisfied with
Related to the data about tourist’ name and nationality can be checked in a tourist file
either in manual or computerized.
- Ask a copy of the final tour program
If a tourist ( individual or group ) requests a tour package and then reconfirm the
program so a travel agency prepare a tour program. This tour program contents all
facilities and services of a tour package included in tourist activities when enjoying
the tour program, from the first day until the last day. Usually in a tour program
explains about accommodation ( hotel or jasmine ) where do they stay, tourist object
which will be visited, restaurant where do they have lunch or dinner, souvenir shop
where do they buy a gift for friends and relatives and others . Because of the tour
program includes in an important document so a tour guide should has a copy of final
tour program in order to can accomplish well prepared so in implementation can do
his job well.
- Find out type of the tour such as the deluxe, first class or economy or budget class
Every tourist has a financial level which is different, any richest tourist and other
tourist group. This condition has impact to the category of tourist its self and we
know some category such as deluxe, first class, economy and budget class. The
highest tourist group is deluxe which has fully fund resource. This group usually
requests a tour package with best facilities and best services. For them, money is no
problem on condition that facilities and services are good.
The second group is first class which has financial resource just one level under the
deluxe. So this group also wants to reserve best facilities and best services.
The last group we know with term of economy class even any class under this class,
that is budget class. Because of limitation of fund so this group not focus in facility
and service but how do they reserve a tour program and having fun.
Related to the class of tourist, a tour guide should adapts to the tourist especially
approach in giving service so they feel happy and well served.
- Reconfirm and recheck every reservation related to the tour program
In the beginning we have already reserved facilities and services from the other
company such as accommodation, transportation, restaurant, and others. Our
reservation usually has been confirmed but it is not a mistake if we recheck and
reconfirm all reservation related to the tour program. This is more ensure to us that
any thing is running well and there is no problem. So that we can give guarantee to
our tourist that everything related to the tour package is well prepared and well
- Collect the travel document if any, such as voucher, exchange order and others.
A travel document will be found when we have handled tourists. This document
includes voucher, exchange order and other. This voucher as a proof of tourist
payment for all tour package. If tourists joint in a different travel agency either in
their country or in tourist destination ( abroad ) so they usually use voucher as a proof
of payment. Although they pay in cash when buy a tour package in a travel agency in
- Collect every information that might be need, such as :
What time does the shopping centre open or closed
Where is the money changer, the bank and what is the equivalent rate
Where is the nearest recommended restaurant, and others.
The above all information will be necessary for a guide especially in assisting a guide
in accomplishing his job. Even a guide should know any kind of information
especially to back up his job so never lack of information when handling tourists.
How important this information for a guide so we can say : there is no guide if there
is no information. And this information can be got from any resources such as survey,
newspaper, magazine, internet and other.
Pre tour preparation
This step constitutes a next step after preparation where a guide more focus in activities
before the tour is accomplished. Of course in this step, the activity is rather different than
the preparation because of this step more technical.
The activities related to pre tour preparation includes the following steps :
Compose the tour program Tour program or usually known as tour itinerary is
a written travel schedule made by a travel agency for his tourist. The
important point which usually mentioned in this tour program such as : name
of program, name of tourist (individual or group), number of tourist, room
required, name of hotel required, tour activities, meals service, departure and
arrival time, and also additional services if any.
In this tour program is adjusted to the following thing :
The duration of the tour
The point of interest
Other required information. Related to the type of this tour program, there
is two types : graphic tour program and tabulated tour program. If the tour
program is presented in graphic, is usually mentioned point of interests
that will be visited through a certain symbol according to each tourist
object. And the tabulated tour program is made in table that consists of
day/ date of tour, time and description. In description usually explain
about tourist objects will be visited and a short explanation of each tourist
This following is presented an example of tour programme :
SAMARINDA CITY TOUR
Depart form Mesra International Hotel to
Pampang Cultural Park. It is an traditional village
of dayak ethnic as a native people of east borneo.
The second destination is Great Garden of
Mulawarman University. It constitutes a nature
tourist object which offer any kinds of special
animal of east borneo, forest, lake and other.
After visiting great garden of Unmul, continued to
local restaurant for have lunch.
The programme will be continued to Woven
Sarong of Samarinda Sebrang as the last
destination. It is an home industry which produce
special handycraft of Samarinda, that is woven
sarong. The trip will pass through Tepian complex
where a central government of east borneo
province goes on.
Back to hotel and tour ends.
Be at the point of departure before the tour starts
This action is done by a guide because of some consideration such as : to make sure
that everything is ok and there is no problem related to the tour activities, is it related
to vehicle is used ( machine, air conditioning, cleanliness, and others ), all crew
condition ( tour guide, assistant of guide, driver, co driver ), all member of group and
also all component related to the tour. Beside that this step is really necessary
especially to ensure that travel agency gives best services and facilities for his tourist.
Generally a guide and crews are ready in the point of departure one hour for the group
and a half an hour for the individual.
During the tour
If we talk about the duty of a tour guide, actually this step is the real duty of tour guide.
In this step tour guide accomplish his function as a leader of his tourists and will
accompany tourist to visit some tourist objects according to the tour program. In this step
a tour guide has a great opportunity to do interaction with his tourists and off course will
exchange of view, idea, information, knowledge, and experience. In interaction process
between tour guide and tourist also mean that there is a communication between them. In
this case, the role of tour guide is really dominant because of tour guide’s function to give
information about anything especially related to the tourist objects and other supported
information. In giving information and presenting his country in such a way that he will
create in his tourist a favorable impression of the things they see and also eliminate any
prejudiced attitudes they may hold.
In detail the functions of a tour guide during the tour are :
to inform or to introduce
If concern to tour guide duty, this profession is very closed with information which he
has function to explain something about a region or a country and their characteristic.
So this information has been part of tour guide even can expressed that the
information is as soul of a tour guide. Without well information, a tour guide can’t
accomplish his duty well even can be a source of tourist complaint. How is important
of this information for a tour guide, because of that he should collects any necessary
information that can support his duty. And the information can be collected through
media ( such as internet, magazine or other literature ) and also directly come to the
destination ( such as survey, interview ).
As a tour guide, he doesn’t only give information about a certain tourist destination
which visited by tourists but also has function to introduce any other tourist
destination that doesn’t be known yet. This is necessary done by a tour guide in order
that tourists have perspective that in certain region or country, still many kinds of
tourist object that offer an interesting place either nature, culture and combination of
the both. Beside to add knowledge for tourist, this effort also gives choice for tourist
to determine other tourist destination in the next visitation that not only focus in
famous tourist objects. The other impact is more spread the tourist destination that
visited by tourists which can stimulate the economy growth of local people.
to guide or to direct
Beside have functions as orator that give any kind of information, a tour guide also
guides tourists during the tour. The definition of : to guide, it means that he has an
authority to arrange the tour according to tour program which has been composed and
agreed. Because of tour guide as a leader in tour activities so he should direct his
tourist in accomplishing the tour program. According to the tour program, he guides
the tourists to visit one tourist object and others until end of program. With direction
of a tour guide also make tourist visitation more focus and adapt to the program. This
can minimize any deviation especially related to unvisited tourist object which is
to give service or to advice
As a tour guide, he has any kinds of function beside a main function to give
information. One of them is to give service.
As we know that tourism is an industry which offer a intangible product so a special
service constitute an important thing to develop this industry. A tour guide as a front
liner who does directly interaction with tourists, has an important role in determining
the successful of travel agency and tourism industry in generally. We all realize that
this industry has a different characteristic than the industry and one of keys are
service. How good facilities offered but doesn’t back up good service, it will be un
In giving service to the tourists, a tour guide should be smart, smile, friendly, polite,
fully attention so that tourists really served well. If the tourists feel satisfied and well
served so they will be back and joint again in other chance. Even they are also very
glad to inform to their family, relative, friend, and colleague about the tour package.
This is the specialty of intangible products such as tourism, where service has a
Ending the tour
Every activity will be surely ended, included in tour activity. In tour activity, tourists
either individual or group tourist usually buy a tour package with duration more than one
day, even it is also known as overland tour which involve some island with any kinds of
transportation. This is not only done by foreign tourist but also domestic tourist. With
visitation more than one day, they really have a great opportunity to explore some tourist
objects which they like so that they are really satisfied.
Through a tour package, a tour program has been designed well, started from the first day
up to the last day. For example : For the first day, tourist just transfer from airport to
hotel. There is also after transfer to hotel and have a rest then directly do city tour or
sightseeing tour. The second day up to the next several day, they usually do real tour such
as sightseeing tour or city tour, countryside tour, special site tour, intercity tour and other.
Each tour activity from the first day up to the last day, a tour guide always does ending
the temporary tour. Just in the last day or usually known as transfer service, a tour guide
ends the tour. And the next step is usually done by a tour guide :
say goodbye and thank the tourists for the good cooperation they had given
check that nothing left on the bus
give a tip to the driver and thank him for his good driving
make report to the company concerning to the services and the expenses or
distribute the questionaire