Duties and responsibilities
A tour coordinator organizes the details of touring for musical and theatrical groups, this includes travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, transportation, and schedules during the tour. Their job requires them to manage the needs of the professionals and staff involved in the tour. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Preparing travel calendars for the musical or theatrical group
- Communicating with managers, booking agents and publicists
- Making sure the needs of all the tour staff and performers are met
- Sorting out any logistical issues whilst the group are on tour
- Making all travel arrangements (e.g.,rental cars, limos, airline travel)
- Making all accommodation arrangements
- Ensuring all expenses are within the tour’s budget.
- Traveling with the musical and theatrical groups, sometimes for weeks on ends
A high school diploma is typically the minimum requirement to become a tour coordinator. High school graduates wanting to enter the industry might want to take the Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test, as this demonstrates their competence, even though they have minimal experience. The test has no eligibility requirements and is administered by The Travel Institute. However, many employers will prefer candidates with a college degree or to have taken classes related to the travel industry.
There are various certifications that tour coordinators can achieve, such as the Certified Travel Associate, also offered by The Travel Institute.
Skills and relevant work experience
Tour coordinators should receive on the job training once they are hired, which will give them the experience and skills they need. They will also need a genuine passion for travel and skills such as:
- Customer service skills, as tour coordinators will spend most of their time on the phone to clients and must create a lasting positive reputation
- Organization skills, as coordinating a tour for lots of people will require everything to be organized to perfection
- Verbal communication skills, as tour coordinators must communicate tour schedules to the group travelling and work closely with the tour manager
- Sales skills, as the main responsibility of a tour coordinator is to sell tour plans and schedules to clients at a competitive rate
- Attention to detail, as tour coordinators must analyse all holidays to check that every detail is perfect for the client
- Active listening skills, as this is essential to understanding the specific needs of each tour group
Tour coordinators will normally work full-time, but some may work part-time. Tour coordinators may have to travel for long periods of time with a tour group. Or, they may have to be available 24/7 to answer any questions the tour group has or to fix any problems with their travel arrangements.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for travel agents in America was $40,660 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,420. The highest paid industries were the travel arrangement and reservation services, where the average annual salary was $40,260. Tour coordinators can expect to earn a salary in the same region.
Although a decline is predicted in the overall employment of travel agents, tour coordinators will still play a vital role in many tours. Booking a tour is complicated, time consuming and frustrating. Therefore, many tour groups will probably still rely on knowledgable and trusted tour coordinators. Tour coordinators may also have the opportunity to become self-employed when they have experience in the industry, which gives them great flexibility and control.