The Ultimate Guide to Tour Operator Careers

Updated On: February 24, 2022

Tour Operator companies are a crucial part of the tourism industry

Across Ireland, the burgeoning tourism & hospitality industry is facilitated by a huge network of tour operator firms. In many cases, tour buses and tour guides play a crucial role in introducing visitors to a country or location, injecting substantial amounts into the Irish economy.

Aside from having a passion for Irish geography, culture and heritage, you will be a people-person who is skilled at building a positive rapport with customers. In this line of work, the ability to speak multiple languages is highly desirable. A full and clean driving license is also essential for many tour bus and tour guide jobs.

Skills and Experience

  • Ability to speak multiple languages is highly desirable
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken)
  • Knowledge of Irish history, heritage and culture is desirable
  • Willingness to drive long distances
  • A full, clean driving license
  • Experience working in a tour operator environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to punctuality and timekeeping
  • Willingness to work overtime when required
  • Right to work in the EU

Tour operator roles can be immensely rewarding, placing you at the forefront of the country’s very best venues and visitor attractions. The role can be demanding in peak seasons, with a requirement to work overtime when required. Many workers in tour operator roles will have extensive experience in tour guiding or tour bus driving. In essence, your role will ensure that a visitor’s experience is informative, engaging and memorable.

Entering a Tour Operator role for the first time can be a daunting, yet rewarding experience. Understanding the variety of roles offered by this sector can help you to understand the many career options available.

Tour Operator Roles Overview

Tour operator staff are employed across the entire sector, meaning that you could work on driving tours as part of a large firm, or in a museum as the single member of tour operator staff. See below for an overview of the sector’s most prominent roles.

Tour Operator Driver

As a Tour Operator Driver, you will be responsible for transporting tourists and attraction visitors from location to location, frequently making stops for sightseeing and comfort breaks. In many cases, Tour Operator Drivers play an active role in the tour, contributing to tour materials and guides. A clean driving license is essential, as well as strong interpersonal and customer service skills.

City Tour Bus Driver
Big Bus Tours LTD

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City Tour Drivers
Irish City Tour Limited

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Tour Guide

As a Tour Guide, you will go about your work with a true passion for Ireland, its geography and its history. You will create fun, informative and interactive experiences for visitors, relating to international audiences. A successful candidate will have strong interpersonal and customer service skills, as well as excellent problem solving skills. Overall, you will have a passion for knowledge and an insatiable desire to learn.

Whiskey Tour Guide
Dublin Whiskey Tours

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Trip Leader / Tour Guides 2020
Grand Circle Travel & Overseas Adventure Travel

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Tour Administrator

As a Tour Administrator, you will assist the wider Tour Operator company with day-to-day administrative duties; including booking flights, sending quotes, researching destinations, liaising with visitors and managing finances and accounts. Like many roles in the Tour Operator sector, you will have a passion for Irish heritage, history and culture. In this role, experience in a previous administrative role is highly desirable.

Account Administrator/Tour Administrator
DB Sports Tours

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Spirit of Ireland Executive Travel

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Operations Assistant

As an Operations Assistant, you will work as a core member of a wider Operations Team to ensure that all operations run smoothly, according to the demands of clients or Tour Operators. You will be responsible for overseeing aspects of a venue or visitor attraction, liaising with all relevant stakeholders to ensure safe, enjoyable and memorable experiences for customers. Strong organisation skills are essential in this role.

Operations Supervisor
Crowley Carbon

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Operations Assistant
Alainn Tours

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Tour Promotions

Working in Tour Promotions, your role will see you providing existing and potential customers with information on tours and related products, constantly seeking to promote and generate sales opportunities. You will use strong communication skills to educate potential customers on locations and products. Closely tied to marketing, professionals in tour promotions frequently come from strong sales and marketing backgrounds.

Purchasing Agent with Fluent English and French, Spanish or Italian
The Johnstown Estate

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Street Promoter (CitySightseeing Dublin)
Connexus Recruit

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Tour Operator Internship

Working as a Tour Operator Intern provides you with a valuable opportunity to enter one of the most lucrative sectors of Irish tourism & hospitality. As an entry-level role, you will adapt to several duties, building strong interpersonal, communication and organisational skills.

Internship in Tour Operator’s Information Systems Department
Abbey Ireland & UK

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Internship in Tour Operator’s French Dept. starting in July 2020
Abbey Group

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Now that you have a full oversight of the roles available within a Tour Operator environment, you are ready to find the perfect role to start your career in the sector. To discover more vacancies in Irish tourism and hospitality, visit our jobs board.

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