Explaining Safety, Rules and Etiquette - English for Tour Guides

This page covers vocabulary needed by people working as tour guides in an English-speaking context.

traffic lightsWhen giving a tour there may be rules and safety precautions that you need to explain. It is best if you memorize a speech rather than read from a card. People will pay more attention to you and understand you more clearly if you look into their eyes as you speak. After you have explained the rules and safety precautions make sure that guests have understood you, by asking, "Are there any questions about this?" or "Is everyone clear on the rules?". Also, tourists will appreciate any helpful advice you can give them, such as where to exchange their money, what types of transportation to use, and how to obey the traffic rules. Finally, if there are any customs or matters of etiquette that you think tourists should be aware of, this is a good time to let them know.

Explaining rules

Tour Guide

  • You are strictly forbidden from taking photographs inside the museum.
  • Please stay on the marked path.
  • I'm sure this goes unsaid, but remember to place all trash in the garbage bins.
  • Please pay attention to the time. We don't want to keep the driver waiting.
  • Classes are in session, so we need to keep our voices down.
  • The bus will be leaving at 5:00 pm sharp.
  • You'll have some free time to look around after lunch.
  • Please meet back here in one hour.

Explaining safety

Tour Guide

  • Please keep your seatbelts fastened at all times.
  • I ask that you keep your hands inside the train.
  • As a safety precaution, please stand behind the yellow line.
  • For your own safety, we ask that you refrain from putting your arms out the window.
  • Please do not feed the animals.
  • Please remain seated until we come to a full stop.
  • Please stay with your group at all times.
  • Please keep to the sidewalk.
  • I do not recommend swimming here. The water is very rough.
  • We suggest only carrying small amounts of cash.
  • These rules are for your own comfort and safety.

Explaining etiquette and customs

Tour Guide

  • It is customary in our country to tip the friendly bus driver.
  • In this region we bow rather than shake hands during a first meeting.
  • Though the all-inclusive includes tips for the servers, it does not include tips for the bellboy.
  • To indicate that you want to get on or off the bus simply wave your hand at the driver.

Check your understanding.

Choose the word that makes each sentence grammatically correct.

1. The tour will begin at 4pm _______ , so don't be late.

a) sharps b) sharpened c) sharp

2. I do not _______ carrying large amounts of cash.

a) recommendation b) recommend c) recommended

3. It is _______ to leave a gift for the hotel staff on your bed.

a) custom b) costumed c) customary

Your score is:

Correct answers: