This course is a QQI Level 6 qualification aimed at those who wish to train as a Tourist Guide. This course combines practical tour guiding skills with the theoretical knowledge to enable learners to provide guiding and tour management services for tourists. Learners will explore the historic, cultural and social aspects of the city and the region. They will learn how to provide a commentary and organise and manage a tour. Practical experience will be gained through a series of simulated guided tours.
This programme is ideally suited to a person seeking flexibility with a career where they can choose the times of the year they wish to work. The main tourist season is from March to October however with rising tourist numbers, tour guides can now avail of employment opportunities all year round. Portobello Institute supports students with their efforts to gain employment as tour guides by introducing them to the major tour operators. Many past graduates have been recruited directly from this programme by the main tour operators in Ireland.
The Role of the Tour Guide
Manage the experience in a positive and safe manner with control over important aspects of the tour and redundancy plans in place.
Inform through storytelling and tactile involvement in what should be an honest but favourable picture of the country/area.
Entertain your guests and leave them with a memorable and enjoyable experience they will share with others.
Safety is paramount so keep it in mind throughout your planning and the execution of your tour.
QQI Level 6 Special Purpose Award
This programme runs for twelve weeks, two evenings a week from 6:30-9:30. There are also 5 weekend dates (either Saturday or Sunday) where students participate in practical tour guiding sessions to gain experience delivering and managing a tour.
There are five tour guiding sessions in all.
The first is often a common tour delivered in a common area such as a walking tour of your closest major city. It will go through the main sites along a planned route and will give you the how and why a route such as that was selected.
The second might be a lesser known tour in the event that your regular route is cut off by unforeseen circumstances (city roadwork) or a foreseen but unavoidable situation (a parade).
The third may go through guiding a tour indoors and the differences required in how you port yourself in a museum-like setting.
The fourth and the fifth will bring you on a coach tour outside of your regular area and go through not only delivering a tour on a coach, but also keeping groups together, giving strict deadlines for return, meeting points, etc. The fifth tour will repeat much of the fourth, by design, since the role itself will require repeating the same information many times over. It is also important to reinforce this type of tour since it is by far the most common.