In this guide, I will show you how to become a tour manager in Nigeria. A tour manager arranges and manages travels and tours for individuals and group going on a holiday or exhibition.
In tour management, you are to ensure that your client(s) have a memorable, hitch-free tour experience. You will take them around places of interest and inform them on specific timings such as time of arrival and departure from destinations.
The duration of a given tour expedition could last for a day or weeks. Tour management service traverses all modes of transportation: land, sea, and air. Hence, this is not a job for a novice or an amateur. You must be educated and knowledgeable in general Nigerian hospitality/tourism and tour management services.
To be a successful tour manager in Nigeria, you must also totally and practically understand the Nigerian terrain. To succeed in this business, you must possess effective communication skills.
How Profitable is Tour Management Business
Tour Managers are well paid in Nigeria. The business is lucrative as it’s demand spans all walks of life. That is, nearly everyone and profession needs the services of a Tour Manager, given their strategic and diversified roles. Entrepreneurial Tour Managers are paid on the job.
Factors governing profitability of the business includes the length of the tour period, the tour budget, the location, timing, bargaining prowess etc.
As an organization-employed Tour Manager, you will receive a base salary (roughly N2,000, 000 annually) as well as other miscellaneous kickbacks. This includes payments for meals while on tour, transportation, insurance, incidental expenses, accidents, logistics etc. Hence, the business is lucrative.
How is Tour Management Business in Nigeria?
In Nigeria today, there is a ready, untapped market for tour management service. The business is not saturated as there are just a few tour management outlets in town, especially in the not-so-well developed parts of Nigeria.
However, the business booms in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and other states which are known for tourism like Cross River and Enugu.
Education Needed to Become a Tour Manager in Nigeria
These days, nobody wants to hire an illiterate or a quack for a tour management job. A Degree certificate in Tour Management Service or allied hospitality cum management field (i.e. Tourism Management) is necessary to become a Tour Manager in Nigeria.
This will help you understand finance, management, and budgeting. It will also help to sharpen your communication skills. You equally need to do a lot of personal reading, self-study/training to discover more.
So, how do you get this education & training?
Enroll for a degree in the aforementioned specialties in a recognized Nigerian University. Secondly, gain practical training via internship under a mentor.
There and then will you be able to have a practical feel of tour management service in Nigeria, learn people and life skills.
Required Skills to Become a Tour Manager in Nigeria
To succeed as a Tour Manager in Nigeria, some of the skills you must possess include.
- Business skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of instruments (i.e. Instruments and sound system equipment).
- Listening skills
- Organizational skills
- Problem-solving skills
Professional Memberships Registration and Licencing
You cannot operate as a lone ranger Tour Manager in Nigeria and anticipate sustainable success in the industry. Two bodies you must be affiliated with are the Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) and The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).
Membership of these aside from your education and training will boost your professionalism and employability status.
(1) The Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN)
The Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) is the professional body in Nigeria which oversees the international hospitality industry.
The body has a membership base of about 4,000 spread across the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). HATMAN certification and designatory letters are nationally recognized in Nigeria.
To become a member of HATMAN, kindly visit their website or office outlets nationwide to complete the application form and forward this alongside your Form fee (N2000) paid into the designated bank account. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the application process to materialize.
(2) The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM)
As a would-be professional Tour Manager in Nigeria, it is only ideal that you develop your career in an innovative and affordable way. NIM membership is a great way to achieve this. Amongst others, it boosts your competency and commitment level in tour management and general management in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) is recognized by many international institutions such as the American Management Association, the British Institute of Management, etc. It is duly incorporated under the Nigerian Companies Act, Cap. 37 as a non-profit making company, limited by Guarantee and not having a share capital.
Membership in these organizations will go along way in boosting your professionalism and job ethics. It will also enhance your management prowess, education, and training in tour management service and general hospitality/tourism industry.
How to Promote your Tour Management Firm in Nigeria
To succeed in this market, you need to form a good network with friends, colleagues, relatives and other Tour Managers. Word-of-mouth recommendations are basic prospects to getting hired as a Tour Manager in Nigeria these days.
For the start, you may even be working for next to nothing for sometimes. In the process, you build up knowledge and experience on the job. Soon after this, you will become a highly valuable commodity in the market.
Also, ensure that you continually boost your publicity via all means necessary, whether online or offline. This is a sure way to get more jobs and return offers.
Read Also: Ways to Improve Tourism in Nigeria
Management & Sustainability Strategies
Forming a good alliance with destination restaurants, hotels, and local guides are for your success and sustainability as a tour guide. You can do this either online or via a pre-visit (face-to-face contact) to the tourist destination and the afore-mentioned places against the actual tour period.
Maintain a functional communication line with all clients and stakeholders. Keep your reputation positive always. Be respectful and courteous. Also, try and earn as many awards possible within this field. It is a great way to boost your professionalism in the industry.
Staffing Strategies for Tour Management Business
With time, there will be the need to hire staffs in this business. While doing so, endeavor to get equally trained and certified personnel who share your business vision. Commitment and wholeheartedness is a necessary hiring requirement.
There are no required qualifications to become a Tour Manager, but there are many university and college courses in tourism management that could be helpful.
Read Also: How to Start a Hotel Business in Nigeria
As a Tour Manager, you must love traveling and you must be familiar with destinations and locations. This can come by reading or personal visits there. Given the juicy welfare package, becoming a Tour Manager in Nigeria is what anyone having an interest in the Nigerian tourism industry would want to do.
Finally, not being certified in tourism-related or management field does not culminate in absolute failure in Tour Management service. After all, there are many Tour Managers out there who only possess knowledge of locations and are doing well. However, lack of certification will limit your scope and success. In the article, I have already enumerated the importance of this, and why being a member of a professional body such as this is necessary.
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