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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Local Tour Guides(6531)

This profile was generated as part of an occupational standard. The NOC group to which it relates is "Tour and Travel Guides". Tour and travel guides escort individuals and groups on trips, on sightseeing tours of cities and on tours of historical sites and establishments such as famous buildings, manufacturing plants, cathedrals and theme parks. They also provide descriptions and background information on interesting features. Tour and travel guides are employed by tour operators, resorts and other establishments or may be self-employed.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read visitor guides, early in the year, and then refer to them frequently for information. (1)
  • Read interpretive guides such as language reference guides and guide books for information. (1)
  • Read newspaper articles to keep current and to find information. (2)
  • Refer to company manuals. (2)
  • Read a variety of materials when doing research. Often this material will be summarized for passengers. Research sources may include scientific texts on specific topics, journals, trade magazines, brochures, history books, almanacs, children's books, archival books, natural history books, encyclopaedia/glossaries and health information. They also read documents taken from the Internet. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read luggage tags and street signs. (1)
  • Consult the calendar for special days. (1)
  • Read participant lists and accommodation guides. (2)
  • Read temperature charts. (2)
  • Consult ferry and bus schedules. Read schedules for local attractions. Read tide tables when touring in some locations. (2)
  • Read directories, such as hotel and campground directories, telephone directories, menus, lists of tourism information centers and price lists and consult dictionaries for terminology. (2)
  • Read a wide variety of maps and map legends. They also interpret floor plans. (2)
  • Complete invoices, vouchers, credit card slips, itineraries, passenger lists and reservation forms. (2)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes to themselves and notes about changes. (1)
  • May write a tour summary after each tour. A form is provided for this summary. (2)
  • May write research notes and a commentary for each tour. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May calculate admissions, tips and taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax. (2)
  • Add up invoices and do expense reports. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Schedule tour events and adjust as necessary. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Count heads, seats, buses and the number of tickets for a facility. (1)
  • Convert between metric and imperial measurement. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate timing of tour activities. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May, if they are adventure guides, tell participants what clothing to wear and what environmental conditions to expect, for example, on glacier walks. (1)
  • Deliver a prepared commentary during each tour. (2)
  • Make announcements to people on tours. These announcements may concern the timing of events, disruptions to the schedule, arrival and departure times, and crime prevention measures to avoid possible theft or vandalism. (2)
  • Interact with employers, passengers, suppliers, co-workers and customs officers. (2)
  • May talk to the authorities, such as the police, to ask for assistance or file a report. (2)
  • Interact with experts when doing their research. (3)
  • Communicate safety instructions to drivers and passengers. This can include information on emergency procedures; precautions for stowing gear or reacting to dangerous wildlife and environmental dangers; and instructions about how to get on a helicopter safely or use life jackets and parachutes. (3)
  • Negotiate with angry or belligerent passengers. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Solve problems regarding lost items or lost people. (1)
  • Solve problems regarding dissatisfied customers or co-workers. (2)
  • Solve problems when accidents or incidents occur. For example, they may have to figure out what to do when the Public Address system breaks down. (2)
  • Solve problems relating to interpersonal conflicts. (3)
  • Adjust schedules to get back on track after delays such as delays caused by construction or re-routing, or after major disruptions such as road accidents or late arrivals. (3)
Decision Making
  • May decide when and where their tour group will eat. (1)
  • Decide on schedules and routes. (2)
  • Prepare commentary, deciding what to include in it and how to present it. (2)
  • Make decisions relating to "on the moment" changes in the tour. (2)
  • Make decisions about leaving passengers behind. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Local tour guides have a variety of work activities. When they are not leading tours, they are preparing for tours by doing paperwork, researching information or writing their commentary. They determine the order of many of their activities, within the constraint of their schedule of tours.

During their tours, they often adjust the tour schedule because of delays or major disruptions. Such schedule changes may have to take into consideration events that they do not control, for example, the time of events and hours of opening and closing of facilities. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Use memory to deliver their commentary and to remember facts, statistics, bus numbers, routes and the details of maps.
  • Remember and match the names and faces of passengers, remember the number of passengers on a particular tour, and any medical issues they may have raised, and remember weather reports and the day's schedule.
Finding Information
  • Find out information and conduct research to prepare their commentary for each tour. As part of their research they go to other sites to experience them first hand. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may carry out research using Internet resources, or send and receive e-mail. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Local tour guides work alone most of the time. Some of the time, they work independently, with a partner or helper, or as part of a team.

Local tour guides participate in formal group discussions concerning methods for improving work processes or product quality and the allocation of responsibilities. These groups many include co-workers only, or co-workers and managers or supervisors and people supervised by the guides.

Continuous Learning

Local tour guides continue to learn in order to acquire new or updated information for their commentary and information about new sites and places. They accomplish this by taking courses, by reading journals, trade magazines, history books, almanacs, children's books, encyclopaedias/glossaries and archival books, by talking to experts or their co-workers by, for example, joining industry associations or participating in historical societies meetings.

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