Planning to: Be a tour guide in Singapore

Updated: Jan 24


Your Guide To Be A Guide

Becoming a tour guide not only allows you to interact with people from all around the world, but you also get to show tourists the many beauties and wonders of Singapore. From a general sightseeing tour to a hawker centre tour, this is a chance for you to share your knowledge.

Here’s a checklist of what you need to do to be a tour guide:


There are 3 institutes where you can sign up for the course, each varying in the mode of instruction, class schedule and program fees. They are:

  • William Angliss Institute Pte Ltd (WAI)

  • Tourism Management Institute of Singapore (TMIS)

  • Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business

Entry Requirements:

You have to be proficient in the language you are guiding in. Apart from language proficiency, you are encouraged to have a basic knowledge of the tourism industry and some working experience. There might be an entrance interview depending on the institute.


You’re also encouraged to have basic computer literacy knowledge in order to complete your coursework.


Fees

The WSQ tourist guide course is part of the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy scheme. Cost of the course after subsidies range from $800 to $900.


After you finish the course, apply for a Tourist Guide Badge with the Singapore Tourism Board. The badge will officially identify you as a licensed guide. The fee for the license is $72 and the license is valid for 3 years from the date of the issue. Processing time for a badge will take approximately 4 weeks.


An easy way to promote your guiding services is through online platforms. Here’s 2 you can consider:

  1. Airbnb Experiences Geared towards more intimate and unique activities, Airbnb Experiences are great for people who are interested in providing tours for small group sizes on niche tour itineraries.

  2. Withlocals Withlocals is a more traditional tour guiding platform that connects tour guides with visitors. There are 2 tour guiding options. If you do not wish to create an itinerary, you can join their curated tour and become a guide for itineraries planned by Withlocals. Alternatively, you can create your own tour experience and list it on the website. If you are unsure of which option to go for, you can choose to do both.

Apart from online promotion, you can also promote through word of mouth.


The Society Of Tourist Guides has developed a variety of courses in both Mandarin and English that allows tour guides to be more informed in their guiding and branch out to different areas of guiding.


Courses fees are $12 for those who are above 40 and there is an additional $10 course registration fee for non-members. These courses last for 7 hours and are only available to licensed tour guides with a badge number.


You are now set to become an official tour guide in Singapore! There are, however, exemptions to the license requirement. If you are engaged by the owners of a premise (such as museums or other attractions) you will not need a license to guide.


*Please note that to be a tour guide in Singapore, you have to be licensed to carry out guiding activities or risk a fine up to $5000


For more information, check these websites:

Singapore Tourism Board

Society of Tourist Guides

Withlocals

Airbnb


Sources: Singapore Tourism Board, Society of Tourist Guides, WSQ