Free Tour Guide Training and Learning Resources Online

We’re compiled a list of online resources for tour guides, tour operators, and tour directors to continue learning online. Below you’ll find general interest online courses and opportunities for virtual tours to museums and destinations. We also have a list of new online virtual tours that are being developed and offered by tour guides and tour operators during the covid-19 crisis!

TitleDescriptionTypeLink
450 Free Ivy League ClassesA great list of general online classes offered by Ivy League institutions.Online CoursesVisit
A Virtual Murder tour of Medieval LondonResearchers at Cambridge University have plotted accounts of murders in London in the 1300s on an interactive map!Virtual TravelVisit
Arival - Conference and Online Research ResourcesThis is THE conference and organization bringing together people in the local guiding world, and the technology players that support them.Industry Research/LearningVisit
Broke Millennial's Coronavirus Relief HubAn evolving Google Doc that covers EVERYTHING you can think of related to covid-19COVID ResourceVisit
EdXHigher Education Institutions offering online courses, with both free and paid certificate optionsOnline CoursesVisit
FAU Hospitality & Tourism Management Certificate [Free, Waitlist]Florida Atlantic University is offering a free hospitality certificate; tens of thousands of students have signed up, and there is still a waitlist open for possible future enrollment.Tourism CourseVisit
Foundations of InterpretationLearn the fundamentals of interpretation theory online.Tourism CourseVisit
Free Book: Turning Lookers into BookersChris Torres is a marketing guru for the travel industry, and has written a fabulous book for starting your own tour business.Industry Research/LearningVisit
General Assembly Free FridaysGeneral Assembly offers a massive amount of paid courses on tech-related fields; during covid they're offering Free Fridays, offering some of their sessions at no cost.Online CoursesVisit
Google Arts & Culture: Online MuseumsGoogle has created a compendium of all things arts and culture related online.Online ArtVisit
Great Courses Plus [PAID]Learn general educational topics from professors.Online CoursesVisit
IATDG - International Association of Tour Directors & GuidesIATDG is an annual conference and online Facebook forum providing a fantastic community for tour directors and guides to learn and network.Industry Research/LearningVisit
Introduction to the MICE tourism sector [TripSavvy]An article offering you a basic introduction to the MICE world of travel.Industry Research/LearningVisit
Khan AcademyFree online courses on US & World History, Art History, and other topicsOnline CoursesVisit
Learn Something NewAnother great series of lists of excellent online learning offeringsOnline CoursesVisit
Masterclass [PAID]Celebrities teach you things!Online CoursesVisit
Matthew Baker's New York City TalksMatthew is a NYC tour guide who has been making frequently videos on a variety of sights around NYC!Virtual TravelVisit
Met Museum: 82nd & FifthSpecific Met website with LOTS of audio commentary on a variety of works of art.Online ArtVisit
Metropolitan Museum of ArtThis blog post outlines the dozens of ways the Met is sharing stories of its art while its doors are closed.Online ArtVisit
MoMa - Museum of Modern Art (NYC) Online CoursesOffering specific online courses for engaging children with art, really great stuff.Online ArtVisit
Mountains 101An online course about all things geology, really great and free!Tourism CourseVisit
NFTGA - National Federation of Tourist Guide AssociationsThe Association of Guides Associations, will help you understand if there's a local guiding association near you to connect with.Industry Research/LearningVisit
13 Podcasts for Wandering Souls [NY Times]For the podcast-minded, a great resource for escaping elsewhere!PodcastVisit
52 Places, Virtually [NY Times]Virtual TravelVisit
Open Culture - Online Learning ListThe mother list of all online learning opportunities!Online CoursesVisit
Open University - OpenLearn Free CoursesHundreds of free and downloadable online courses, from topics in History to Entrepreneurship! (UK-Based)Online CoursesVisit
Phocuswright - Industry ResearchA research firm specializing in the travel industry. Their phocuswire blog is great.Industry Research/LearningVisit
Rick Steves Travel TalksThe master of decadent European travel on a budget shares a vast library of talks, tips and virtual tours to Europe!Virtual TravelVisit
Rijksmuseum from homeAmsterdam's fantastic Rijksmuseum is offering weekly videos from its curators and digital versions of its incredible collection.Online ArtVisit
Road Scholar Virtual LearningVirtual lectures by Road Scholar instructorsTour Operators OnlineVisit
Skift - Travel Industry ResearchTravel Industry Research firmIndustry Research/LearningVisit
Skillshare [PAID]PAID online repository of tech-oriented coursesOnline CoursesVisit
List of Virtual Tours [Tase of Home]Virtual TravelVisit
Textbook: Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BCHundreds of pages of an e-book for a Tourism/Hospitality course in British Columbia, with much information applicable to the travel industry in general.Tourism CourseVisit
The "National Emergency Library"The Internet Archive has made e-versions of 1.4 million texts available to borrow for free during the COVID crisis.Industry Research/LearningVisit
The Bowery BoysThe Definitive NYC podcast!PodcastVisit
The Thinking Museum BlogClaire Brown has a great blog of tour guide tips and tricks related to the museum docent world, but applicable to anyone.Industry Research/LearningVisit
The Tour Boost BlogMargaret Hicks offers a selection of tour guide-related articles focused on improving delivery and engagement with guests!Industry Research/LearningVisit
Tourpreneur Podcast & ForumShane Whaley is a master at bringing together a variety of tour operators to talk about how they run their business; Mitch from TripSchool was interviewed!PodcastVisit
12 Virtual Museum Tours [Travel+Leisure]Virtual TravelVisit
Travel WeeklyA leading source for travel industry newsIndustry Research/LearningVisit
TravelpulseA blog, daily newsletter, and website full of articles on travel industry trends and updates, and great insights.Industry Research/LearningVisit
History Podcasts for Tour Directors/Guides [TripSchool Blog]PodcastVisit
TripSchool Show & TellFree 1-hour seminars led by tour guides on a variety of travel destinations and topics!Virtual TravelVisit
Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still (E-Book)The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the global travel industry to a complete standstill, and it is unlikely to ever be the same again. While reflecting on how this interruption would impact the future of tourism, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bruce Poon Tip, has concluded that despite the hardships being presented to many of us, we have been given the gift of reshaping how we travel in the future.Industry Research/LearningVisit
Viking TVViking Cruises compendium of travel-related contentTour Operators OnlineVisit
Virtual Field Trips listA home schooling site has collected links to virtual field trips you can take all around the world.Virtual TravelVisit
Wanderlust's List of Travel PodcastsPodcastVisit
Tour Guide Tell AllProfessional Tour Guides in Washington DC share the true and sometimes scandalous stories from history, DC travel tips and hacks, hidden gems and hilarious stories of what we’ve heard on tours.PodcastVisit
NBC Learn: We The PeopleOnline videos devotoed to topics of interest to U.S. HistoryVirtual TravelVisit
Museum of the American Revolution Virtual TourVirtual TravelVisit
13 Virtual Train Rides from Around the World [Travel+Leisure]Virtual TravelVisit
WTM Global Hub: Travel & Tourism TrendsThe enormous World Travel Market (WTM) has created an online hub featuring industry news, virtual events, podcasts, on-demand videos, webinars and more.Industry Research/LearningVisit
The Be a Better Guide ProjectKelsey Tonner and his team create, film and produce short training videos that are available for free online, as well as develop PDF resources, conduct interviews with industry thought leaders and offer free online workshops. In addition, the Online Tourism Academy offers practical training programs for tour businesses, teams and individual guides. Programs cover an array of topics from creating extraordinary tours and delivering ‘knock your socks off’ service, to complete step-by-step systems to build and grow a successful tour business. 1000+ graduates from over 40 countries around the world.Visit