How to become a Tourist Information Officer

Tourist information officers provide travel, hospitality and accommodation information to tourists, promote tourism, and assess tourist opportunities for local communities.

Personal requirements of a Tourist Information Officer

  • Enjoy working with people
  • Good interpersonal, communication and customer service skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Comfortable working with computers
  • Good geographical knowledge

Education & Training for a Tourist Information Officer

You can work as a tourist information officer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a tourist information officer through a traineeship in Information and Cultural Services, Tourism or Travel and Tourism. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

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Duties & Tasks of a Tourist Information Officer

Tourist information officers may perform the following tasks:

  • answer questions from tourists, visitors, local residents and other tourism industry colleagues, in person, over the phone, via email or online
  • make suggestions on tours, travel routes, accommodation and local attractions
  • provide literature and information on local, interstate and international tours and places of interest
  • maintain literature and brochure stocks
  • sell souvenirs and other merchandise
  • discuss transport, accommodation and tour availability and cost
  • arrange bookings and documentation for travel and accommodation, and collect payment
  • assist travel agents and tour operators in preparing itineraries for tourists
  • undertake general clerical and office duties
  • coordinate volunteer or part-time staff
  • put together statistics concerning the number and nature of enquiries
  • be responsible for overall presentation of the information centre.

Employment Opportunities for a Tourist Information Officer

Tourist information officers are employed in a wide range of agencies in the tourism and hospitality industry, and in private and government organisations involved in tourist promotion, planning and development. Tourism officers can be involved in providing information on and promoting travel to the local area, the state or international destinations. Despite tourism being important in the Australian economy, some small tourist information centres are staffed by volunteers and do not hire professional staff. Some larger centres are broadening their scope and employing staff with higher levels of training.


Tourism Manager

A tourism manager manages a tourism information centre, which includes business management, staff supervision and development, office systems management and the provision of services. Tourism managers may also act as the executive officer for the local tourism committee and make sure services are in place to respond to day-to-day tourism enquiries. They check and regularly report to management on the status of the tourism marketing budget and on tourism awareness or new initiatives on behalf of the employers to industry, media, community or interest groups. They may also contribute to the planning, development and implementation of tourism marketing strategies and encourage community involvement and awareness.

Additional Information
A highly desirable skill amongst tourist information officers is the ability to speak a second language. Most people are expected to have a strong retail background or qualifications in hospitality and tourism. Tourist information officers have to be familiar with all the tour operators and the various attractions and services in their region. As part of ongoing training, they take part in industry familiarisations, going to hotels or motels to personally rate the accommodation.
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