31 January, 2022 | Posted by Colm McDonnell

Becoming a Tour Guide with Portobello Institute

One of Ireland’s busiest and most exciting industries has always been tourism. Over 11.3 million tourists were welcomed on the island of Ireland in 2019 and with restrictions lifted in 2022 a huge boom is expected this summer. 

In Budget 2022, a new €50 million Tourism Business Continuity Programme was allocated to assist strategic tourism businesses recover in 2022. 

Fáilte Ireland welcomed the lifting of restrictions in January and in a statement said this was ‘a hugely positive step’ and it will continue to work towards rebuilding Ireland’s tourism industry this year.  

Now, as we look toward a less restricted summer than its two predecessors, it is a great time to get your tour guide qualification. Starting tour guiding this summer could be the perfect boost you need whether it's as a hobby or a career move, our graduates go on to great success. 

Why Become a Tour Guide? 

Being a tour guide creates great opportunities and benefits from following your passion for history and culture to setting up your own company and working independently, not to mention the great connections, networking and people you meet and share stories with. 

When you earn a tour guide qualification, you gain control of your financial freedom working for yourself, setting up your own tour guide company, having a new profitable hobby at the weekends or carving out a niche area in touring such as architecture, fashion, wildlife etc.

You control your own hours, location of the tour, what topics and sights you discuss and how many people you bring on tours. It is a freeing and rewarding role that allows you to follow your passion. 

It is the perfect opportunity to learn how to hone your craft of engaging your audience, making people, places and things from the past burst into life in their minds with your interesting insights and knowledge. 

Why Portobello Institute?

Portobello Institute offers a QQI accredited level 6 course in Tour Guiding. Upon successful completion of the course you will earn the National Tour Guide Badge and meet the criteria for the Fáilte Ireland Industry Qualified Tour Guide Directory. 

The course takes place over three months with a mix of online delivery and in person outings. You will learn from experienced tour guide Jim Dempsey. Jim is a Portobello graduate with many years of experience as a tour guide across the whole island of Ireland. 

You can read more about him here. 

What do our graduates say? 

Don’t just take our word for it, listen to Portobello Institute graduate Adrian Metcalfe. 

Adrian is an Irish citizen who has spent many of his years as a tour guide in Wales. 

Having already established himself as a tour guide, Adrian wanted to gain more knowledge of Ireland when he and his wife moved back from Wales. 

After some deliberation he decided on Portobello’s course. 

“The course fitted my needs the best and it was very flexible,” he said. 

Learning from Jim Dempsey, Adrian says that he is ‘a better tour guide now than when I started’. 

Having completed the course, Adrian is excited for the opportunities he can avail of and has opened up ‘a wider range of employment possibilities’ as well as gaining more ‘confidence and knowledge’ from his studies. 

You don’t have to be a tour guide or have prior experience as one to enrol in this course and it is suitable for people of all ages from all walks of life. 

Many of our graduates range from just out of school to retirees from completely unrelated industries. 

Get in contact 

If you are interested in any of our Travel and Tourism degrees, masters or qualifications you can book a consultation call with our expert advisor Brandon McLean. Email brandon.mclean@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0035.

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