Training as a tour guide in Ireland

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Make sure you have the necessary skills and qualifications to become a registered tourist guide in Ireland.

If you are interested in working in Ireland and have a passion for the country’s history, heritage and culture, then you may be considering a career in tour guiding. There are various courses available throughout Ireland that can prepare you for tour guiding, including tourism-based degrees at higher and further education institutions, and specialised training programmes certified by Fáilte Ireland and FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council).

Tourist guides can work in various roles. Some work on specific sites or attractions, some do half- or full-day city tours and others do regional or country-wide tours that last several days.

Irish tour guide

“Being fluent in a language other than English is also a great asset and may help you get more work”

Being a tourist guide involves having a real interest in, and passion for, learning about Ireland, as you must continue to learn about Ireland throughout your career. Guiding is not just about telling stories; you need to know about day-to-day living in Ireland as well as the geography, dates, history and culture. Not all of this will be taught to you; you must spend time independently learning everything possible in order to give a knowledgeable and interesting tour.

You should have a connection with Irish people and experience living there, so studying in Ireland will be great preparation. You must also be good at organising and have skills in customer service and talking to people. Being fluent in a language other than English is also a great asset and may help you get more work.

The tourist guide industry in Ireland is not yet regulated, but having training and the necessary qualifications means you will find it easier to find work and can be certified and registered by a professional body, giving you an advantage over unqualified guides.

 

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