A tour guide is a professional who gives guidance, assistance and information to individuals and groups on a tour, organized sightseeing or individual guided tours. There are tour guides for all types of people such as groups of friends traveling for a weekend vacation or individuals touring an area for the first time. Tour guides help people to select and plan the itinerary for their tour. The service of a tour guide may be used in the provision of meals, lodging, sightseeing, transportation, medical aid or any other service that an individual or group may require during a tour. A tour guide helps visitors to select and plan their tour.
The service of a tour guide enhances and promotes tourism in a community because it provides an avenue through which people can interact with each other. A guide provides guidance on things to see and things not to see. With this role, a guide helps visitors to identify the things they want to do, see and experience. This interaction fosters educational programs. These educational programs, in turn, promote social awareness and community goodwill.
In short, a tour guide serves as a catalyst that encourages people and stimulates them to interact socially. Tour guides facilitate and stimulate discussion between tourists and locals. Tour guides are trained to know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. They know how to engage and interact with local people; therefore they use language, body language, facial expressions, and other ways to show the visitors where to go, what to see and how to get there. With this skill, a tour guide becomes a source of information and free walking education programs for tourists.