A visitor services adviser provides information of all kinds about the local area and finds and books accommodation, events and attractions for visitors.
You could be:
based in a VisitScotland Information Centre (iCentre) answering enquiries over the counter, on the phone or by email
travelling to different events and attractions to provide the public with tourist information
giving out free leaflets, timetables and local maps
suggesting places of interest to visit, providing directions, prices and opening times
finding and booking suitable accommodation on the phone or online
making sure that the information you give reflects the customer's needs
booking tickets for tourists to, for example, theatre performances or concerts, or for coach travel or sightseeing tours
liaising with other iCentres and keeping information up to date
selling maps, souvenirs, local foods and guide books, handling money and keeping display stands stocked with leaflets and goods.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Visitor service adviser salaries can start at around £18,000 a year. As a centre assistant manager you would earn between £20,000 to £25,000 a year, and as a centre manager you could earn around £35,000 a year.
You will work in a public office with a shop area, or be mobile, travelling to different places in the VisitScotland vans.
If mobile, you might spend nights away from home.
You might work shifts covering evenings and weekends, including public holidays.
Work can be busy and stressful - there might be a queue of people wanting accommodation and a shortage of spaces.
In winter the centre may have shorter opening hours.
Many jobs can be seasonal, such as March to October.
Overtime is common during busy periods, as is part time or seasonal work.
During quiet periods you might visit tourist attractions so that you have first-hand knowledge.
Although there are no formal entry requirements for this work, a good general education is useful.
Personal skills, qualities and a good knowledge of the local area can be more important than academic qualifications.
Fluency in one or more foreign languages is useful. Sign language is also useful.
You must have clear, fluent English.
IT skills are important.
You usually need to have experience of working with the public.
You may need to have sales and cash handling skills.
Some entrants do an HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8) or a degree (SCQF Level 9-10) in tourism. For entry to an HNC or HND you usually need 1-2 Highers and for a degree you need 4-5 Highers.
For the mobile jobs that involve driving, you must be aged 25 or over.
Scotland's national tourist board, VisitScotland, has around 26 Information Centres (iCentres) in towns, cities and rural areas throughout Scotland. You can find a list of these on the VisitScotland website.
What Does it Take?
clear speech and a good telephone manner
a smart appearance
a helpful attitude and good listening skills
good number skills
patience and perseverance
to be able to communicate with a wide range of people
research and IT skills
an interest in and knowledge of the local area and wider Scotland
the ability to work under pressure.
New staff usually do in-house training including customer service, administrative duties, how to research information, handling cash and credit cards and dealing with enquiries.
You will need to regularly keep your knowledge and information skills up to date.
If you are a seasonal worker you might move on to be permanent staff.
If you are on the permanent staff you could move into management at branch level and from there into the different levels of management within the tourist board.
You could also transfer into other areas of work such as retail, hospitality or the travel industry.
People 1st is the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries.
UKSP is now part of the Hospitality Guild, which provides information on careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. The website has an online 'personality' test designed to help you identify suitable careers within the above industries.