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Jul 20

Make money showing people around your local area

Reading Time: 4 mins

Are you passionate about your local area? Would you like to make money showing visitors around it?

Then we have just the job for you!

The website ToursByLocals allows you to sign-up as a local tour guide in your area and markets your service through their website – so you get all the fun of being a guide without having to worry about the hassle of the admin.

Read on to find out more about making money showing people around your local area.


How does it work?

make money as a tour guide showing people around your local areaYou’re able to join up to ToursByLocals for free and they’ll market your tours to people looking for guides where you live.

They handle all the administration, including the booking, travellers’ requests and payment, so you can just focus on giving the best tour possible.

People using your services are likely to want a private tour and to take advantage of your local knowledge to find out all the things they couldn’t in a large tour group, so be prepared for small groups and individuals, and to give them the personal, knowledgeable service that they’re looking for.


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Can I be a guide where I live?

Make money as a tour guide showing people around the local area in the UKToursByLocals has people operating all around the world, including guides working all over England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

So, as long as people are coming to your area and looking for a guide, there’s no reason why you can’t advertise your services!

Of course, it’ll help if you’re in an area that people regularly visit – if this is the case, you’ll have a captive audience of tourists already. Luckily, the majority of places have at least a few things that can tempt in visitors. Here are some things that you could centre your tours around, if they’re relevant to your area:

  • Food / gastronomy – those in the north west might want to look into centering their tours on the local craft beer scene, for example
  • History – got a famous or impressive local castle or historic neighbourhood in your area? People will definitely want to hear about it. Historic cities like Edinburgh, Chester and York are great locations if history is your niche
  • Arts / culture – we think music tours would be hugely popular in cities with strong musical heritage (like Manchester or Liverpool), whilst if your area has a strong literary heritage (for example in the Lake District) this is likely to be hugely popular for tourists too
  • Celebrities – ok, you might not live in the Hollywood Hills. But if you live in an area that’s famous for being home to a celebrity (or even a group of celebrities) you could consider centering your tour around their local haunts. There’s a reason that Essex benefited hugely from tourism post TOWIE!



What makes a good guide?

Make money being a tour guide around LondonAs a tour guide you’re likely to be responsible for:

  • Making sure you deliver a quality tour in a friendly and professional way
  • Replying to all customer inquiries and booking requests within 24 hours
  • Making sure all your account details are up-to-date on the site

But beyond the basics, we wanted to know exactly what makes a good tour guide – so we asked ToursByLocals themselves.

They said: “Above and beyond any other skill or personality trait, a successful tour guide demonstrates a real passion for the area they’re guiding in. Travellers want to be excited and enthralled with what they’re seeing, and a good guide shares this passion!

“In addition to this come the basics: a friendly personality, a deep knowledge about the places they guide (expertise in a particular area – e.g. history, architecture, gastronomy is a strong asset), and a genuine desire to meet and spend time with new people.

“A good guide needs to be always polite and accommodating, willing to be flexible and make each tour experience slightly different – people love getting a custom experience!”

Here are some other skills that are highly in demand for tour guides:

  • Public speaking – this is a big one, as you need confidence to be able to speak to groups and to be clear in what you’re saying
  • Organisation – keeping track of your booked tours and organising new ones will be key
  • Knowledge of marketing – this is helpful as it means you can promote yourself via other platforms, as well as on the ToursByLocals site
  • Languages – you can really have the edge if you can provide guided tours in multiple languages, as this will really open up the numbers of people who can book with you. Find out which languages are the most profitable here



How much can I make?

cash3As a guide you get to set your own price for your tours but it should be competitive with the local market to make sure you actually get business.

As an example, Amanda, a guide in London, charges $460 USD for an 8-hour tour of London.

ToursByLocals takes a 20% commission on any tour booked which covers the costs of your marketing, payment processing, and so on.

Thankfully using this platform means that you are covered for last minute cancellations or customers who don’t show. ToursByLocals also covers your liability insurance.

Find out more at 

Is this a money making opportunity you’re thinking of giving a go? Ever been a guide before? Let us know in the comments below.



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5 years ago

First of all, thank you very much for posting this article on how to become a tour guide in your local area. I must stay I am both very interested and excited about working as a local tour guide in London. I am familiar not just in East London but also in City of London and Central London. I have very good knowledge of the entire area and I also strongly feel they are also hotspots for tourists. I am just wondering what would be the best way of going about applying as I am itching to get started. warm… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  Taz

I think the best thing to do is to look at the website mentioned in the piece, see what other people are doing (and charging) and then come up with your own package. Contact the website and get them to put it on display.

You could also offer it to other organisations. Why not get in touch with the English Tourist Board and see what they suggest. They might know of other organisations that would be interested.

Libby Forsyth
Libby Forsyth
5 years ago

Retired teacher interested in Scottish history and landmarks. Willing and interested in ‘classroom on tour’.

Kind regards

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