Tour manager

Tour managers manage the travel arrangements of holidaymakers and business clients, and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


What's it all about?

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • welcoming the tour group and telling them about the travel arrangements and stopover points
  • making sure accommodation, meals and service are satisfactory
  • helping with passport and immigration issues
  • speaking about places on the tour (local guides may also be used)
  • promoting and selling trips
  • advising on sights, local restaurants and shops at each destination
  • recording issues that may require follow-up after the tour
  • giving advice, solving problems and dealing with emergencies like loss of passports or money, illness or difficulties with accommodation
  • managing the travel arrangements for people on business


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like travel and tourism management, although this isn't essential. 

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree


You could take a college course like a Level 4 Diploma in Tourism Management, which may help when looking for work after you finish.

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course


You may be able to get into this job through a travel consultant advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Other Routes

There are no set requirements. You’ll be expected to have a good standard of general education, a friendly personality and a smart appearance. You’ll also need an interest in the history and culture of the places you’ll be visiting.

Employers may ask for a good general standard of education, like some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), particularly in maths and English. 

You could gain experience in the travel industry before moving into tour management, like as a tour guide, resort rep or travel agent.

Doing a college course in travel and tourism could also help you get started in this job.

You’ll need foreign language skills if you want to work overseas.

£16,000 to £30,000

Starter salary: £16,000 to £19,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,000

These figures are a guide.


You’ll be responsible for the group throughout their tour, working from early morning until late in the evening, including weekends. You could be on call 24 hours a day.

You could work full-time or become freelance, working from tour to tour. The work can often be seasonal, with more jobs available during holiday periods.

With experience, you could become a tour operations manager or specialise in particular areas, like food and drink breaks, adventure holidays or business travel. 

You could also set up your own tour business.

You could join the Institute of Travel & Tourism, which offers industry training courses, news and networking opportunities to members.

Careers That Move has more information about this role.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to get on well with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • good working knowledge of one or more foreign languages
  • the ability to deal calmly with emergencies
  • good organisational and time management skills
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