Tourist information officers provide information and advice to travellers about local attractions, events, travelling and accommodation.
Tourist information officers typically do the following:
- answer customer queries in person, by phone and email
- do research using things like the internet, travel guides and timetables
- provide accurate information on things to see and do and where to stay
- make bookings for travel, entertainment, visitor attractions and accommodation
- set up displays within the centre and re-stock literature
- keep up to date with local accommodation, places to visit, activities and events
- act as an ambassador for the local area and attractions
- serve and sell souvenirs and other items from gift shop
The following job titles also refer to tourist information officer:
tourist point information officer
tourist centre officer
tourist information agent
Tourist information officers usually work at an information centre, at an airport, at a port or in a museum. They often wear a uniform.
A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as tourist information officer.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Tourist information officer is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Tourist information officer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to tourist information officer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of tourist information officer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of tourist information officer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of tourist information officer.
- Local area tourism industry: The characteristics of local sights and events, accommodation, bars and restaurants and leisure activities.
- Geographical areas relevant to tourism: The field of tourism geography in Europe as well as the rest of the world in order to point out relevant tourism areas and attractions.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of tourist information officer.
- Distribute local information materials: Hand out leaflets, maps and tour brochures to visitors with information and tips about local sites, attractions and events.
- Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
- Comply with food safety and hygiene: Respect optimal food safety and hygiene during preparation, manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution and delivery of food products.
- Produce content for tourism brochures: Create content for leaflets and tourism brochures, travel services and package deals.
- Maintain working relationships: Ensure effective working relationships with colleagues and others. Maintain them over long periods of time.
- Quote prices: Refer to prices for the client by researching and estimating fare rates.
- Process booking: Execute a booking of a place according to client’s requirement in advance and issue all appropriate documents.
- Provide tourism related information: Give customers relevant information about historical and cultural locations and events while conveying this information in an entertaining and informative manner.
- Handle personal identifiable information: Administer sensitive personal information on customers securely and discreetly
- Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
- Assist visitors: Aid visitors by responding to their questions, giving satisfactory explanations, suggestions and recommendations.
- Maintain customer service: Keep the highest possible customer service and make sure that the customer service is at all times performed in a professional way. Help customers or participants feel at ease and support special requirements.
- Demonstrate intercultural competences in hospitality services: Understand, respect and build constructive and positive relations with intercultural clients, guests and collaborators in the field of hospitality.
- Provide directions to guests: Show guests the way through buildings or on domains, to their seats or performance setting, helping them with any additional information so that they can reach the foreseen event destination.
- Process reservations: Execute customers’ reservations in accordance to their schedules and needs by phone, electronically or in person.
- Maintain customer records: Keep and store structured data and records about customers in accordance with customer data protection and privacy regulations.
- Collect tourist information: Gather and compile relevant touristic information from a variety of sources.
- Respond to customers’ inquiries: Answer customers’ questions about itineraries, rates and reservations in person, by mail, by e-mail and on the phone.
- Apply foreign languages in tourism: Use the mastery of foreign languages orally or written in the tourism sector in order to communicate with collaborators or customers.
- Develop tourist information materials: Create documents such as leaflets, brochures or city guides to inform tourists about local, cultural, social and historical activities and places of interest.
- Coordinate efforts of stakeholders for destination promotion: Monitor with relevant stakeholders, such as business owners and government institutions to develop a cooperative product or promotion campaign.
- Devise special promotions: Develop promotion activities to stimulate sales.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of tourist information officer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Ensure customer focus: Attitude that puts customers at the centre of the business in all cases.
- Sell tickets: Exchange tickets for money in order to finalise the selling process by issuing the tickets as a proof of payment.
- Apply social media marketing: Employ website traffic of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to generate attention and participation of existing and potential customers through discussion forums, web logs, microblogging and social communities for gaining a quick overview or insight into topics and opinions in the social web and handle inbound leads or inquiries.
- Work in a hospitality team: Function confidently within a group in hospitality services, in which each has his own responsibility in reaching a common goal which is a good interaction with the customers, guests or collaborators and their contentment.
- Sell souvenirs: Exchange souvenirs for money by displaying them in an attractive way and communicating with customers.
- Process payments: Accept payments such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Handle reimbursement in case of returns or administer vouchers and marketing instruments such as bonus cards or membership cards. Pay attention to safety and the protection of personal data.
- Integrate content into output media: Compile and integrate media and text content into online and offline systems, such as websites, platforms, applications and social media, for publishing and distribution.
- Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
- Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.
- Organise cultural events: Arrange events in cooperation with local stakeholders which promote local culture and heritage.
ISCO group and title
4221 – Travel consultants and clerks
- Tourist information officer – ESCO
- Tourist information centre assistant | Explore careers – National Careers Service
- Featured image: By Purupurucat – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0