Working in Adventure Tourism
Some people want to lay on the beach or hit the hottest shopping districts on their vacation and there sure are tours for them but what about the adventure junkie who wants to zip line through the Amazon or ride the Tour de France route? If the latter sounds more like your idea of fun then why not consider a job in the international adventure tourism industry? The sector took off in recent years with increased numbers of high school and college gap year students looking for something exciting to fill their time.
Not everyone is ready to click on an Amazon travel backpack and buy a plane ticket to Windhoek to start their personal adventure. This why a host of tour companies offers overland and sea adventures for people ages 18–65. As a tour guide or support staff, you will become intimately acquainted with the communities, nature, and history of the areas where you operate. While not all jobs require a college degree, many do want you to have certifications such as CPR, wilderness training, light rig driving permits, or to complete their proprietary courses geared to the region.
Tours are designed around a set itinerary with no more than 20 people and may encompass one or more countries. Nights may be spent in tents, hostels, homestays or small hotels. If you are looking for a career as a tour guide, you may choose to specialize in one area and become your company’s expert in Eastern Africa or the Pacific Rim, or if you’re simply looking for seasonal work, you may try many regions and types of tours.
Remember you are not paying for the tour, so this is not a vacation, you are the go-to person in case of emergency or if someone has a complaint. You are the expert on local culture and the conduit through whom they speak to local people. You may be required to meet them in their home city and fly to the destination with them or facilitate their passage through immigration and customs in the arrival country. Your main job is to make sure the people on your tour have the best experience possible.