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How Do I Become a Luxury Tour Operator?

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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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In order to become a luxury tour operator, you should begin by researching the job market, evaluating your own talents and obtaining any necessary training to enhance your skills. You can often gain additional knowledge and insight by assisting another professional tour guide or completing an apprenticeship. Next, you could either apply for jobs with luxury tour companies or go into business for yourself. If you choose the latter, as with most small businesses seeking to attract new customers, it is usually important to market yourself effectively by publicly advertising your services. Ultimately, a successful career as a luxury tour operator can depend on achieving a high level of customer satisfaction, often demonstrated by personal recommendations and endorsements.

Someone planning to become a luxury tour operator in the future might begin his career as either a private tour guide or a group leader. He or she normally accompanies travelers on their sightseeing outings. A tour operator, on the other hand, generally performs more administrative duties, running the business from an office and supervising tour guides and group leaders. He or she typically handles travel documents and related paperwork as well, along with researching destinations and preparing itineraries. Someone working alone, however, might have to function as both the tour operator and the personal tour guide, both of which require good business skills.

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To obtain a background in tourism and become a luxury tour operator, you can take relevant courses either in person or online. It also helps to read luxury travel publications and visit the destinations to become familiar with local attractions and customs. For many locations, foreign language skills are important and can be advantageous when competing for a position. Completing a certification program could also help you become a luxury tour operator, and it might help to specialize in a niche, such as adventure travel or corporate outings.

Ultimately, your success as a luxury tour guide might depend on the extent to which customers are satisfied with your personal services. You can enhance your education and gain more practical experience by working as an assistant to another luxury tour guide, planning excursions from an office based either at home or abroad. Alternatively, you could work in a hotel or on a luxury cruise ship, for example. An investment of time and effort up front to learn about the business and how to provide effective luxury services can lead to a satisfying and lucrative career in luxury tourism.

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