A tourist guide is the person assigned by a travel agent to receive and take care of travellers visiting Hong Kong. With a view to improving tourist guides' service quality, the TIC set up a Tourist Guide Accreditation System on 1 July 2004, under which all tourist guides assigned by member agents to receive visitors to Hong Kong are required to have a valid Tourist Guide Pass issued by the TIC. The Pass is valid for three years and the fee is HK$300.

Under the Accreditation System, only the Tourist Guide Pass issued by the TIC is recognised.

Member agents must note that tourist guides who have passed the qualifying examination for the Tourist Guide Pass are not allowed to receive inbound visitors unless they possess:

  1. a valid Tourist Guide Pass issued by the TIC ( sample ); or
  2. The "Acknowledgement of Application for the Tourist Guide Pass" issued by the TIC ( sample ); or
  3. The "Acknowledgement of Application for the renewal of the Tourist Guide Pass" issued by the TIC ( sample ).

Accredited tourist guides may visit Member Agent Vacancies of this website for openings in travel agents. They may also register their skills and contact information in the Profile Registration section in order for travel agents to find suitable candidates online for recruitment.

Application for Tourist Guide Pass

Application requirements

Applicants for the Tourist Guide Pass must meet the following requirements:

  1. 18 years old or above;
  2. Holders of the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, or holders of the Hong Kong Identity Card who are not subject to any condition of stay;
  3. Secondary school graduates [Note] or equivalent or above (applicants with one or more than one year's tour-guiding experience may apply for exemption);
  4. Holding certificates recognised by the TIC and passing the relevant examinations;
  5. Holders of a valid first aid certificate or attendance certificate issued by one of the following six institutions: the Hong Kong Red Cross, Hong Kong St. John Ambulance, the Auxiliary Medical Service, The Hong Kong Life Saving Society, the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Fire Services Department; or having completed a training course in first aid and holding a valid certificate to that effect issued by an organisation approved by the Commissioner for Labour; or having attended the TIC's first aid talk (In-service medical professionals or those having retired for not more than two years may apply for exemption but relevant supporting documents must be presented);
  6. Signing of a declaration stating that the applicant is physically and mentally fit to be a tourist guide, and that there is no other reason that will cause the TIC to consider him/her not fit and proper to be a tourist guide; and
  7. Declaration of any criminal conviction in Hong Kong or elsewhere in accordance with the Declaration Form provided by the TIC.

Note:
Definition of "secondary school graduates":

  1. Completion of Form 5 or Year 11 under the old secondary education system (5-2-3 education system) of Hong Kong or the British-style education system; or
  2. Completion of Senior Secondary 3 or the 12th Grade under the new secondary education system (3-3-4 education system) of Hong Kong or the US-style education system.

Time limit for application

The time limit for first-time applications for the Pass is extended from six months to two years . People who have obtained certificates recognised by the TIC and passed the relevant examinations must apply for the Pass within two years after being issued with the certificate or notified of their passing the examinations (whichever is later) .

If qualified applicants apply for the Pass after the application deadline, they will have to pass the Tourist Guide Accreditation Examination before submitting their application.

Renewal of Tourist Guide Pass

Renewal requirements

The Tourist Guide Pass is valid for three years. Pass holders may apply for renewal of their Pass three months before its expiry and the renewal fee is HK$150 . Pass holders are required to return their old Pass when collecting a new one. Those who have lost their old Pass must submit the completed Declaration of Loss of Tourist Guide Pass together with a renewal application form and other necessary documents in order to obtain a new Pass. Details are as follows:

  1. For Tourist Guide Passes numbered TG01001 ~ TG10553:
    1. For first-time renewals, Pass holders only need to submit a renewal application form together with the documents and fee required.
    2. For second-time and subsequent renewals, Pass holders must complete the Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Tourist Guides (CPD Scheme) designated by the TIC (please refer to page X of the renewal application form for details) before submitting their application for Pass renewal.
  1. For Tourist Guide Passes numbered TG10554 or above:

    Pass holders must complete the CPD Scheme every time they renew their Pass.

Late renewal

Pass holders who renew their Pass within two years after its expiry do not need to take any examination . The new Pass will be valid for three years, counting from the day following the day on which the old Pass expires.

If Pass holders renew their Pass more than two years after the expiry date, they must first pass the Tourist Guide Accreditation Examination . Candidates who fail the examination may resit, and the number of resits allowed is not limited. The new Pass will be valid for three years, counting from the day on which the Pass is issued.

Tourist Guide Pass application / renewal applications that require special deliberation

If the applicant has worked as a tourist guide without a Tourist Guide Pass , or has violated TIC rules while holding an invalid Tourist Guide Pass , his/her application or renewal application for the Tourist Guide Pass will be referred to the Tourist Guide and Tour Escort Deliberation Committee for special deliberation. In addition, if the applicant has been involved in serious problems of conduct while holding a Tour Escort Pass , his/her application or renewal application for the Tourist Guide Pass will also be handled by the Tourist Guide and Tour Escort Deliberation Committee.

For details, please see the Guidelines on the handling of Tourist Guide Pass/Tour Escort Pass applications or renewal applications which require special deliberation by the Tourist Guide and Tour Escort Deliberation Committee .

Accreditation System for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides

The TIC has set up an accreditation system to help tourist guides who speak no Chinese or English to apply for the Tourist Guide Pass. For details such as the conditions for application for examination, examination format, fees and application procedures, please see the " Accreditation System for Non-English-and-Chinese-Speaking Tourist Guides " section.

Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Tourist Guides

Those who submit their application for the Tourist Guide Pass on or before 31 December 2011 and are issued with the Pass subsequently must first fulfil the requirements of the Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Tourist Guides (CPD Scheme) in order to meet the basic criteria for renewal of their Pass when they renew their Pass for the second time or subsequent times. For those who submit their application on or after 1 January 2012 and are issued with the Pass subsequently, they must meet the requirements of the CPD Scheme every time they renew their Pass.

The CPD Scheme covers three areas, namely "consolidation and updating of knowledge", "professional ethics" and "self-selected courses", and CPD activities include quizzes, seminars and workshops. For details, please see the " Continuing Professional Development " section.

Change of information

Change of contact information

The TIC may disseminate news or other information to tourist guides by various means (including SMS and email). In order to keep in contact with the TIC, tourist guides should notify the TIC of any changes in their contact information (correspondence address, telephone number and email address) by completing the Application Form for Change of Contact Information and returning it to the TIC Industry Training Department.

Change of name

Tourist guides who wish to change the name on their Tourist Guide Pass should download the Application Form for the Change of Name on the Tourist Guide Pass , and return the completed form to the TIC Industry Training Department.