A highly qualified ambassador
The tour guide offers French and foreign tourists visits to monuments, museums, historic sites, cities and regions. He is also known by the term “tourist guide”.
He puts his knowledge within everyone’s reach, transmits his enthusiasm for history and gives life to the place he is visiting.
He is a true ambassador of the territory which he knows to perfection and of which he knows how to offer the best to his guests.
Each year, more than 10 million foreign tourists discover France with the sole contact of the tour guide.
The guide-lecturer allows French and foreign visitors to discover and appreciate the French cultural and architectural heritage.
To exercise his activity, he must have a good general culture, in-depth knowledge in history, art history, ethnography, gastronomy, economy, linguistics … Linguistic competence is fundamental and each guide-lecturer master at least 2 languages foreign.
To find out about all the skills required, read our professional guide charter. On the other hand, each tourist guide is unique and each has their own specialty.
In the case of circuits lasting several days, the guide-lecturer may have to take care of the operational organization such as the confirmation of hotels, restaurants, tastings …, he is then also tour leader.
The profession of tourist guide is exercised mainly independently but it can also be exercised under contract with a tourist office, a museum or a travel agency.
The guide lives by the seasons. Its availability and responsiveness are crucial and cash inflows are often irregular.
Having a commercial spirit and a sense of contact is a plus.
Training to become a guide-lecturer
To exercise the profession of professional tour guide, you must hold a professional guide-lecturer card. This card is issued for life and nationally
To obtain this card, it is necessary to have obtained the professional license of guide-lecturer.
This diploma is prepared in the following universities: Nice, Angers, Lyon, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris-Est, Perpignan, Corse, Paris-Ouest, Littoral, Rennes.
Situation of the profession of guide-lecturer
The profession of guide-lecturer is often precarious with missions by the hour or by the day.
The competition is fierce and the wages fairly low because many people call themselves “tourist guides” without having any training or professional card. Unfortunately, unlike Italy, France does not sanction “false guides” who allow themselves with impunity to guide groups in national historic monuments and UNESCO classified sites (such as the Arenas of Arles or the Pont du Gard).
This last point will be the subject of future publications.
Thanks for reading.