Immersive course to prepare you for immediate work as a tour director!

Complete 10-day course price – estimated $2199 CAD (see registration for individual course pricing)
Includes One year membership to IATDG



TripSchool Online Fundamentals of Tour Directing + Four-day Intensive Boot Camp – April 13 – 16

If you’re new to the industry, you’ll begin with an online course designed to teach you all the terminology, procedures, best practices and technical knowledge to understand and succeed as a tour director. It covers everything from hiring practices and pay, to interacting with guests, planning itineraries, and using technology to prepare for your tour. It usually takes a minimum of 10 days to complete, at your own pace.

Then comes the boots-on-the-ground training for 4 full days in Vancouver! Boot Camp is immersive, experiential learning at its best. Designed to simulate a real tour and put you through the ringer, it’s a small-group, hands-on chance to sharpen your skills in a fun, encouraging, workshop-based environment.

We’ll cover:

– the power of creating unique “wow moments”
– our “special sauce” for developing and delivering powerful stories on tour
– motor coach training, including using technology on the bus
– researching, developing and leading your own walking tours
– a focus on integrating technology into all aspects
– succeeding with student tours

Boot Camp is designed for anyone, new or experienced, to sharpen their skills and master new techniques to elevate your guiding game!

Visit the TripSchool website for more information.


IATDG Comprehensive Course in Interpretive Communications – April 17 – 20

Have you ever wondered …..

– How you might better communicate with guests both formally and informally?
– If you can increase your skills as a storyteller and make the places you take your guests come alive?
– What you can do to increase guest and tour satisfaction scores for you and your tour operator?
– How to keep up with shifting trends and guest desires for outstanding experiences ultimately making you more marketable and desirable to high quality tour operators?

Tourism research shows that tour guests are demanding higher quality experiences and an increased desire to learn something, meet locals, and come away with a deeper understanding of the places they visit. One way you can directly affect that guest need is to learn the skills needed to be a stronger communicator.

Join us for the upcoming Interpretive Communications Course for Tour Guides and Directors where you will learn to:

– Organize what you communicate into a meaningful program that results in a greater emotional and intellectual impact on your guests
– Find new ways to make information and what your guests are seeing relevant to their lives and encourage them to learn more during and after their tour
– Help connect guests to cultural and natural places, people, and history in ways they might not have considered
– Support the places you visit through what you communicate to ensure their future

This highly participatory course is only offered by IATDG and has been designed specifically for tour guides and directors just like you. Enjoy this video taken from the 2019 Interpretive Communications Course.


Canadian-based Interpretive Guides Association Group Management: The Key to Keeping Your Guests Safe – April 21-22

Safety doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning and an awareness of what could go wrong. A good safety strategy also includes a solid understanding of your legal responsibility as a guide and how to mitigate the risks of being in charge of a group.

The Interpretive Guides Association’s Group Management Course will teach you how to safely guide your guests on and off the bus, to scenic viewpoints and on local trails. It will give you the skills and confidence to manage your group effectively.

In this course you will learn how to identify hazards, how to manage your group in different environments, how to set a good pace, proper travel techniques, how to discuss and present waivers, your legal liability, and more.

The Group Management Course consists of classroom and field sessions.

The classroom instruction includes:

– your legal responsibilities as a guide
– trip planning
– risk management
– group management skills

During the field session your instructor will:

– demonstrate and reinforce the skills covered in the classroom
– look at group management skills and best practices in the field
– assess and evaluate your ability to safely lead a group and provide recommendations for future learning

Visit the Interpretive Guides Association website to learn more about them.


Click Here to Register


Mitch Bach, trainer for the TripSchool Tour Director and Guide Boot Camp, is an author, speaker, trainer and tour director with nearly 20 years of experience. He’s the co-founder of TripSchool, an organization that offers new and experienced tour directors in-person and online classes to learn guiding skills and destination knowledge. A graduate of the Sorbonne University, he got his start in tour directing leading groups around Europe, and today works as both a tour director and operator around the world. He’s the author of four popular industry handbooks for major U.S. east coast cities, and lives in Manhattan.

Alan Armijo, trainer for the TripSchool Tour Director and Guide Boot Camp, is an industry veteran, having worked as a tour director around the world for over 20 years. He’s also worked in corporate travel, event planning, tour contracting and itinerary building. He is Co-Owner of The TripSchool, a leader in Tour Director training programs. As a photographer, public speaker and active Tour Director he eats, sleeps and breathes all things related to our industry!

Jane Beattie, trainer for the Interpretive Communications Course, has over 25 years in the tourism sector, predominantly in the areas of visitor experi­ence planning, program and product de­sign, heritage interpretation and guide training in sustainable and eco-tourism envi­ronments. She is currently the owner and principal consultant at Tūhura Communica­tions, a sustainable tourism and heritage inter­pretation consulting firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Projects include guide and tourism development train­ing both in the US and internationally, in addition to providing tourism assessments, interpretive communications development, and visitor experience and product design for various clients.

Misha Paule, trainer for the Interpretive Guides Association Group Management Safety Course, lives in the small mountain town of Field Canada and works in Lake Louise. Both places are perfect for her because she loves all things outdoors and has an insatiable appetite for adventure. She is a certified Hiking and Snowshoeing Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and is a Professional Interpretive Hiking Guide with the Interpretive Guides Association (IGA). Misha started her guiding career over 21 years ago, leading tours in Austria, Croatia, England and the Czech Republic. Since living and guiding in Canada, her experience includes working as an interpretive guide for Parks Canada, leading bus tours in Banff, running her own hiking guide company, and working as the lead guide, interpretive trainer and Manager of the Educational Services department at The Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Hotel Accommodations

**BE SURE TO BOOK BEFORE March 16, 2020 for the following hotel block rates:

The TripSchool Boot Camp will use the city of Vancouver as its classroom. A room block is available from April 12 – 17, 2020 at

Hotel Belmont
654 Nelson St
Vancouver, BC
$149 CAD (Rate based on single to double occupancy in room with two double beds)

Interpretive Communications and Group Management Safety will be highlighting natural tours in North Vancouver. A room block is available from April 16 – 23, 2020 at

Holiday Inn North Vancouver
700 Old Lillooet Road
North Vancouver, BC
877-985-3111/604-985-3111 and ask for room block under IATDG 2020 Group OR email [email protected]
$149 CAD (Rate based on double occupancy in room with queen beds. Additional adults charged at $10 CAD)

Contact Karen Yates with questions, [email protected].

Draft Schedule for April 17 – 20 Interpretation Course

Day 1/2 

    • The principles, value, and gifts of interpretation – what is interpretation, what can it do for us, and why is it valued by our guests?
    • Understanding our audiences – why do they come, what expectations do they bring and how can interpretation bridge the gap?
    • Making tours thematic, organized, relevant, and enjoyable – Using Sam Ham’s TORE model, explore techniques that harness knowledge about audiences, information, and the sites we visit to bring power to tour programs
    • Tour outline development – How do we build a powerful tour programs of our own? We’ll take what we have learned apply it to our own programs through group work and other hands on activities
    • Informal guest feedback – What questions and techniques can we use while on tour to maximize guest interaction and feedback that we can put to use immediately?

Day 3/4 

  • Advanced theme development – Best practices show that thematic tours are the most powerful, but how can we do that over multiple sites or days and how do we find the right theme?
  • Intercultural Communication – In our tours we may be working in, or have guests who are from a different country, What cultural differences exist between the major tourist nations and how can we develop cultural competence to work with and better engage them?
  • Controversial and difficult conversations – There are many sites we visit, or conversations we have with guests that are or become difficult. What skills can we apply for those tough conversations?
  • Evaluation and reflection – Continuous improvement and growth is important in any career. What tools exist that we can use to evaluate ourselves as tour guides and directors?