Inbound Tour Guides


Inbound Tour Guides


Tour guides (sometimes called escorts) lead groups of people to sites of interest. Specifically, those leading short excursions to famous American destinations are called inbound tour guides. Inbound tours may last a few hours or overnight. Guides provide an important service to the travel and tourism industry by promoting their specific area. New York, the top travel destination for foreign travelers, has more than 100 tour operators. Some define inbound tourism as guiding people from other desti...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Six months to a year volunteer experience at tour site





Personality Traits



The U.S. Department of Labor reports that tour guides and escorts had median annual earnings of $26,570 in May 2018. Salaries ranged from $18,990 to $44,550 or more. The top-five highest paying states were Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and Arkansas. 

The work of an inbound tour guide is often seasonal—extremely busy during the peak travel times of May through October, an...

Work Environment

Guides have varied work environments, depending on the type of tours they give. Tour bus operators may spend the majority of the day comfortably seated, but many times they are stressed from maneuvering around traffic or pedestrians while giving their tour commentary. Guides who conduct walking tours must often work outdoors, and may face inclement weather or rugged terrain (in a location such ...


Employment for tour guides is expected to grow faster than the average for all careers through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Jobs will be steadily available due to a predicted increase in international travel to the United States over the next few years, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). In 2018, about 79.9 million international tourists visited the United S...