We all know that leading a tour is hard work and takes a certain kind of person with just the right organizational and interpersonal skills. Test yourself by answering the following 10 questions:

1. When you first meet your group, which of the following is not necessary?

 A)  To greet each member and welcome him/her to the trip

 B)  To verify that all tour members are present

 C)  To see each tour member’s personal ID

 2. One of your tour members grabs the front seat on the tour coach and insists on keeping that seat throughout. Which of the following is not appropriate?

A)  You could remind the tour member quietly that the tour literature indicated that specific seats may not be reserved.

 B)  You could announce on the coach loudspeaker that the tour member has behaved badly by keeping the seat and embarrass her.

 C)  You could skillfully introduce a seat-change game into the day’s activities.

3. If leading a group of North Americans in a foreign country, the leader:

A)  Must know the language of the country they are visiting.

B)  Must have been to each of the countries on the itinerary.

C)  Should have emergency phone numbers of each tour member’s family as well as their personal doctor’s name and phone number.

4. If a tour member is repeatedly late for daily departures:

A)  The tour group should leave without her.

B)  The leader should give her a warning on a previous occasion and if she continues to be late may then opt to leave without her.

C)  Wait for her regardless.

5. An individual who is serious about a career as a tour leader should always have ready:

A)  A valid passport

B)  A supply of travelers’ checks

C)  An elegant travel wardrobe to impress the group

6. On an international trip where passports are required:

A)  Each tour member is responsible for carrying his/her own passport.

B)  The tour leader should collect the passports of all tour members and be responsible for them throughout the trip.

C)  The leader should remind the tour members that they are responsible for their own passports, but you recommend their checking them in a hotel safety box to prevent loss or theft.

7. If a tour member does not want to participate in one or more tour activities, your policy should be:

A)  That’s OK with you as long as they advise you in advance that they are not coming so you don’t hold things up waiting for them.

B)  It’s OK with you but they are responsible to meet up with the group later and should understand that they won’t get a refund for the activity skipped.

C)  Both A & B are correct.

8. A tour leader, in accepting an assignment with a tour operator, should clarify before accepting:

A)  Financial aspects, i.e. salary, airfare to/from the tour, meals and expense budget, if any.

B)  Whether you will have local step-on guides and other similar local help or if you are responsible for all activities yourself.

C)  Both A & B

9. If you are considering leading your first trip for a company with which you are not familiar, you should:

A)  Research the tour company on the web before accepting the assignment.

B)  Just be glad to have your first assignment and go for it; ask questions later.

C)  Consult travel industry colleagues about the company’s reputation.

10. Some of the negative aspects of tour leading are:

 A)  Little time en route for taking care of your health, vitamins, exercise, sleep

 B)  Being away from home, family, friends, social connections

 C)  Both A & B

Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. 90-100 you’re on top of this career! 70-89 you should do well. 60-69 you can adapt, but still have things to learn. 40-59 you should give this career serious thought and study before embarking. Below 40 you might want to consider some other career.

−By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC

Answers:  l-C, 2-B, 3-C, 4-B, 5-A, 6-C, 7-C, 8-C, 9-A or C, 10-C