Blue Badge Tour Guide – Tour Guiding

Also known as: Tourist Guide, Museum Guide, Discovery Guide, Historical Interpreter, Coach Guide Head Guide, Science Interpreter, Museum Educator

As a Blue Badge guide, you are qualified to direct tours in several cities and towns. A Blue Badge guide will conduct many types of tours, such as coach tours, and visits to world heritage sites, cathedrals, galleries, museums and stately homes. It is the responsibility of a tour guide to bring the environment to life, so an enthusiasm for culture and excellent presentation skills are a must.

Your day-to-day duties may involve:
• touring the streets of several cities
• creating itineraries
• presenting artefacts and buildings to guests
• researching historical artefacts and buildings
• answering questions about sites, buildings and artefacts
• adhering to health and safety procedures

A Blue Badge guide will be extremely knowledgeable about the culture and the history of their region.  During the tour they will explain the history and purpose of each site and stop to answer any questions the group may have. Sometimes a tour will be conducted in a lively environment and therefore a clear speaking voice is essential.

The difference between a Blue Badge guide and a Green Badge guide is size of the area they specialise in. While a Green Badge guide will conduct tours within a particular city, a Blue Badge guide is able to direct tours in a region or regions.  Due to the experience of a Blue Badge guide they may also work alongside Tourist Boards, or assist journalists and commercial companies. Quite often a Blue Badge guide is self-employed and will freelance.

As a blue badge guide you will direct tours to people of different ages, cultures and nationalities. Therefore you must appreciate the variation between different audiences, and personalise your tour to suit them. An ability to speak another language is a must, as the UK is a thriving tourist destination with many visitors from abroad. While leading your guests, it is important that you adhere to health and safety procedures and conduct a risk assessment. This involves using traffic lights to cross the road and avoiding dangerous terrain. Before the tour begins, you will take a head count and suggest a meeting place for any members that get lost. At the end of the tour you must repeat the head count to ensure all the tour members are safe.