FAQS for Customers

FAQS for Guides

FAQS For Customers

Why should I book a private tour guide?

Booking a private tour guide offers you customized and unique traveling experiences. With the help of an expert local guide travelers can gain insider access to their destination with customized, unique tours that address their interests and provide a richer travel experience. The possibilities of experiences with expert local guides are limited only by your own imagination.

How do I find a private tour guide?

Step 1: Search

You can choose to use the simple search by using the country and city drop down option under "Search for a tour guide" found on the homepage.

You can opt for a more advanced search where you can be specific on your needs by selecting a city and entering your travel date.

Step 2: Find

In the search results, you can sort the order and find a tour guide according to their ratings, number of tours booked or certification.

Step 3: Contact

Send a message to the tour guides with any questions and check their availability through the onsite messaging system. Using the onsite message system is a recommended way to record your messages in case you need our help.

Can I contact the tour guide with my questions?

Yes. To submit your question, click "Email tour guide with questions" button found on the tour guide's profile page and listing page. On the next page that appears, you can enter in your message to the tour guide.

To ensure both parties are protected, provide you with utmost customer service and adhere to our Terms & Conditions, we request all communications prior to booking to be made via our on-site message system.

Can I call and email the tour guide directly?

To ensure both parties are protected, provide you with utmost customer service and adhere to our Terms & Conditions, we request all communications prior to booking to be made via our on-site message system.

For the privacy and safety of both our tour guides and our traveling customers, all contact information (including address, phone number and email) is released after the confirmation of the booking. Prior to booking, you can contact the tour guide by clicking "Email tour guide with questions" button which can be found on both the profile pages and listing pages.

Must I register to book or contact a private tour guide?

Yes, and it is free! In order to send a message and book a tour guide, you will be prompt to either register or sign into your account.

Why must I register to e-mail and/or book a private tour guide?

To ensure guides receive serious inquiries from real people, we require users to register. If you do not wish to register yet the vast majority of the local private tour guides details are publicly available for your ease of use.

Basic registration is free, easy and only takes a minute of your time before planning your unforgettable tour!

Steps to book a guide:

It is recommended that prior to booking you contact the tour guide to discuss his/her services, your interests and their availability.

Step 1: Click "Book this tour guide!"

Once you have found the private guide that best fits your travel style and interests, click on the button "Book this tour guide!" found on the guide's profile page.

Step 2: Enter and confirm tour details

Enter your tour details including date, time and duration.

Step 3: Enter and confirm deposit payment

After clicking on "Confirm tour details", you will be requested to enter in your login details or for first-time users, quickly sign up in order to further confirm your payment. To complete the payment process, select your preferred method of payment, enter all mandatory fields and confirm your agreement to our Terms & Conditions.

After payment has been processed you and the tour guide will receive a confirmation notice of the booking.

Can you check availability for me?

The private tour guides upload their own availability and rates, which are available from their profile pages. To view the availability of each private tour guide, click the "Book this tour guide" button. The next page will display their availability calendar.

Can I pay in other currencies?

Our private tour guides upload their own guiding services rates and currency that they wish to accept the payment in.

However, the client can pay the private tour guide in a local currency on the day of the private tour if both parties agree on the rate and currency (Viator is not liable for this form of agreement –read more on Terms & Conditions).

Why should I submit my payment through your system?

Our online payment system is more secure than handling the transaction on your own. We invest a lot into ensuring both parties are protected from fraud and illicit behaviors. Viator uses the internationally recognized and secure Paypal system to process all credit card transactions.

Also, paying your deposit will blockout your booking date(s) and time(s) from the tour guide's availability calendar. The private tour guide is considered booked for your trip. Full confirmation details will be sent to you.

Please do not send payment directly to the private guide from outside the site. This is against our Terms & Conditions, and prevents us from protecting your tour guide booking and payment. We can only provide customer support to those bookings made through our system.

Non-compliant user accounts may be suspended or removed.

Can I give the guide my credit card details?

The transmission of your bank details or/and any other sensitive information over the internet, or electronic storage is never 100% secure. Since we cannot guarantee the absolute security of our online messaging system, do not send out such personal information through the site.

Payments should be submitted through our online payment system for security purposes. We invest a lot into ensuring both parties are protected from fraud and illicit behaviors. Viator uses the internationally recognized and secure Paypal system to process all credit card transactions.

Is there a booking fee?

It is 100% free! The booking service is free to all booking a private tour guide.

How is the deposit calculated?

The deposit is approximately 20% of the total cost of the tour guide's rate which is rounded up to the nearest amount. Minimum deposit is 1 Euro if the local private tour guide is quoting EURO or 1.50 USD if the local private tour guide is quoting USD.

Is the deposit refundable?

The deposit is refundable if:

a) the tour guide fails to show up for your arranged tour

b) the tour guide rejects your booking

I have booked a guide, and paid the deposit, but when do I pay the remaining amount due?

The remaining balance is payable by cash. The remaining balance is payable only on the day of meeting, directly to your guide. The amount outlined on the booking confirmation notice (emailed to you) is the legal amount due to the tour guide.

The tour guide may also opt to receive the due amount in their local currency at the bank rate on the day. Both parties must agree to the rate and currency otherwise the default is the amount and currency stated on the booking confirmation notice.

Can I pay the remaining amount due in the local currency?

The tour guide has an option to receive the due cash payment in the local currency rate on the day of the tour only if all parties agree. Otherwise the currency and amount outlined on the booking confirmation notice is the legal amount due.

What payment methods are available for booking a guide?

All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted.

My credit card is not being accepted, what should I do?

Our credit/debit card bookings are secure and processed through Paypal. There may be some reasons why your credit card transaction will not go through. Please check the following and try your transaction again:

- insufficient funds to cover the transaction being booked

- may not have filled out all the information fields requested

If you continue to experience difficulties, please copy the error message and paste it into your message on the contact us page.

Can I cancel or amend a booking as the booking client?

To cancel the booking please contact CSTourGuides@Viator.com

Please note the following:

1. Please make cancellations more than 48 hours before the commencement of the tour. The guide has accepted your booking and turned down other opportunities so please keep in mind that when you do not honor the booking, you are penalizing the guide. As a common courtesy, we ask that you cancel with as much notice as possible to guides.

2. In the event of cancellation by the customer, the deposit paid is non-refundable.

3. To amend the booking (e.g. change the date or time), the tour guide can agree with you on a new time and date after the booking has been confirmed.

What if the local private tour guide cancels a booking?

Your deposit is 100% refundable in the event of cancellation by the guide.

If the guide fails to appear on the date, time and venue outlined on your confirmation, the deposit is also 100% refundable and you can review the guide accordingly.

If the booking customer wishes to accept a new time/date, the guide can agree on a new time and date after the booking has been confirmed.

See - 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Can you please resend my booking confirmation details?

Yes. Please send us a message via the contact us page and include your full name (per your registration), any information you remember (i.e. tour guide name, city of the arranged tour etc.).

Do I need to reconfirm my booking before arrival?

It is not a requirement. However, we suggest you to contact your private tour guide before your travels to confirm date, time, meeting place and any other details that you feel may be pertinent to your meeting.

How do I log in to the site?

On each page in the top right hand corner, press the link "login". You can simply enter your E-mail address and password.

In the city field, I cannot find my home city?

Please just choose the capital city of your country as an interim measure, and Contact Us to add your city to the drop down menu.

I cannot remember my password, what should I do?

At anytime you can reset/change your password by entering your E-mail address, leaving the password field blank and then click "Get New Password".

You will receive a new temporary password shortly after. After signing into your account using your email address and this new temporary password, you will be asked to enter your own chosen password. You will be asked to enter this new password (that you have chosen) twice for confirmation purposes.

Can I change my E-mail address for login?

Yes. Simply login using your current e-mail address and password. On your profile page you will find a field marked "E-mail". You can enter your new email address into this field and click "Save" when you have completed editing your email address.

Is there another way to book than online?

Viator is a complete online booking service and we offer 24-hour, 7 days a week customer service via email to support all of your booking questions. Viator Customer Service guarantees a turnaround and response within 48 hours.

I don't have or own a credit card, how do I book?

Viator Inc. is an online only company and uses a completely secure and automated booking system, therefore we can only accept bookings made online, using an authorized and valid credit card. Fax, telephone or other booking methods are not accepted.

I keep getting a credit card error whilst trying to book, what do I do?

Our booking process is completely automated and all credit card transactions are 100% secure. If your credit card is generating a consistent error, verify that your card has not expired. You may also contact the card issuer to confirm your monthly spending limit has not been exceeded. For further assistance please contact us.

Why is the amount charged for my booking different to my credit card statement?

Please allow for currency exchange rate fluctuations. If you believe there has been an error in the billed amount for your booking, please contact us.

I'm not sure if my booking was processed, how can I find out if it was processed?

Please contact us with your booking details (including your full name, tour guide name, date and destination). We will check to see if we have received your booking request successfully and will be in contact with you via email.

FAQS For Guides

Why should I register as a private tour guide with Viator?

Viator's private tour guide website offers an advanced booking service for qualified, local guides worldwide. Guides can leverage our sophisticated website to list their tours, license, photos, availability and payment details. This site offers advanced tools including real customer reviews, SMS booking notification, 100% online booking functions and more - making it easy for guides to generate bookings from travelers around the globe. Best of all there are no set-up or maintenance fees for guides.

How much does it cost to register as a tour guide?

Registration of your guiding services is free of charge.

Can I register my guiding services to more than one city?

You can enter in your secondary destination after login to your profile page.

Can my company register?

Please ensure that your registration to the site is that as a private tour guide (when customers book your services, it will be you guiding them and offering a tour as agreed upon) and not any other form of business provider.

If you are using our site for any other reasons (i.e. spamming or posting other irrelevant services) that are not related / relevant to the intent of offering guiding services on the site, your account may be suspended for further investigation. We reserve the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you have violated these rules stated in our Terms & Conditions.

How do I log in to the site?

On each page in the top right hand corner, press the link "Already a Member? Sign In!". You can simply enter your email address and password.

I cannot remember my password, what should I do?

At anytime you can reset/change your password by entering your email address, leaving the password field blank and then click "Get New Password".

You will receive a new temporary password shortly after. After signing into your account using your email address and this new temporary password, you will be asked to enter your own chosen password. You will be asked to enter this new password (that you have chosen) twice for confirmation purposes.


I have just registered as a tour guide on the website, what do I do next?

You will need to create a profile page introducing your qualifications, your tours and rates. Without loading rates and at least one profile picture, your guiding services will not be available for public viewing.

To enter your profile page, login by entering your email address and password.

In your account please notice that there are up to ten tabs for you to update as needed: Profile, Sightseeing Tours, Availability, Client Reviews / Testimonials, Bookings, Tours, Inbox, Outbox, Contacts, Notifications.

For tips on creating the perfect profile page click here.

I have registered to be a guide on your website, but I can't find my listing on the site?

In order for your account and profile page to become active for clients to find and book your services on the website, you will require a complete profile page. Make sure that your profile page has guiding rates, at least one profile picture and that you have selected your member role as 'tour guide'.

How do I create the perfect profile page to draw in clients?

a) Show your professional certification by uploading a copy of your license (to learn how to upload a license click here)

b) Boast by writing an informative description of your guiding services and mention which association you belong to, your professional background, what attractions and things to do you recommend etc. (for writing description tips click here)

c) Share your unforgettable experiences through pictures of yourself, happy clients, memorable tours and beautiful attractions (to learn how to upload pictures click here)

d) Invite clients through a Youtube video clip introducing yourself and your guiding services (to learn how to upload a youtube video clip click here)

e) Bonjour - Ciao - Guten Tag - If you also guide in other languages, add a small paragraph in other languages to draw in multi-lingual clients

How do I upload my professional guiding license?

Before proceeding with the upload, please remember where you saved your image on your computer. The file must also be an image of your guiding license in a .jpg (jpeg) format.

To upload a copy of your guide license, please log in to your account and on the top of your profile you will see several tabs. Click on the "Profile" tab, then select "License" from the drop-down menu to open the "My Tour Guide License" page. From there, simply click on the "Browse" button then select the file of the image of your license, then click "Upload."

Can I create my account now, but wait to upload my license?

Yes. However please note, we will not activate your account and you will receive no bookings until you upload a copy of your license.

Does my license need to be current?

Yes. We only accept current valid accreditation. Do not upload expired or outdated licenses.

How can I upload a new image of my guiding license?

Before proceeding with the upload, please remember where you saved your image on your computer. The file must also be an image of your guiding license in a .jpg (jpeg) format.

To upload an updated copy of your guide license, please log in to your account and on the top of your profile you will see several tabs. Click on the "Profile" tab, then select "License" from the drop-down menu to open the "My Tour Guide License" page. From there, click the "Delete" button to remove the old image, then simply click on the "Browse" button then select the file of the new image of your license, then click "Upload."

How do I upload a profile picture?

Log in to your account and on the right side of your profile page, click "Add profile photo". Select the photo you wish to upload and click "Save". You can upload numerous pictures.

Profile picture tips:

- Choose a clear and presentable picture of yourself

- Upload pictures of your tours and happy customers

- Select pictures that are representative of your destination (i.e. landmarks and touristic attractions)

What should I write in my description?

Your description on your profile page should include details of your guiding style, specialty and qualifications. Your description will help clients have a better understanding of who you are, and what your tours will be like.

The 'sample itinerary' section of your profile page is ideal for demonstrating to clients what your tours could consist of and what attractions you recommend. After having entered in all your content/ description, click "Save".

Description tips:

- Your writing style can help show what kind of guide or person you are; so keep in mind that the words and facts you use will affect how the client reads your profile

- To help increase search engine optimization (SEO), don't forget to enter popular, relevant search keywords in your description so Google can find your profile page, and display it on their search results page

How do I upload a YouTube video clip?

1. Go to the YouTube website at http://www.youtube.com.

2. Search for the video you would like to upload and click on it.

3. Once you are on the video page, you will see a "Share" button located below the video.

4. Copy the URL link that starts with 'http://youtu.be'

5. Paste this URL link into the Viator Private Tour Guides video textbox provided and click on the green "Save" button.

I don't have a video clip but I want to create one. What should I do?

Go to YouTube.com to create an account for you to save your videos.

How do I load up my guiding rates?

It is up to the individual guide to decide on their guiding rates.

To upload your guiding rates, log in to your account, and click on the 'Pricing' tab. Select the currency you wish to be paid in and the pricing option(s) you feel is most suiting to your services. You do not need to select all three options.

After entering in your guiding rates, click "Save"

How do I upload tours that I have created?

After login, click on the "Sightseeing Tours" tab and click the "Add Sightseeing Tours" button. You will be prompt to fill in details regarding the tour you wish to load, such as the tour name, duration, price and description. Enter in all the mandatory fields and click "Save". Once saved with all the mandatory fields, your tour will be available for public viewing instantly.

To add more sightseeing tours, click on the "sightseeing tours" tab again and from there, once again select "Add Sightseeing Tours" and repeat the same procedure as mentioned.

How do I update my availability calendar?

It is recommended to keep your availability (days and hours) up-to-date to avoid any booking conflicts and unhappy client feedback.

To add/delete unavailability dates, click the 'Availability' tab. Find the date range you would like to edit and highlight it. After highlighting the date range, you will see an arrow appear for you to click on. Click on the arrow to delete or undelete the unavailability date range.

In the 'Availability' tab you can also insert your working days, hours, minimum and maximum duration. After updating these details, do not forget to click "save"

How do I upload client testimonials?

Before uploading a testimonial, make sure that you remember where you have saved the Word Document (.doc format) on your computer.

Click on the 'Client Reviews/Testimonials' tab and then "Add Testimonial" to upload clients' testimonials. You will be prompt to enter information regarding the testimonial you wish to upload.

Where do client reviews and ratings come from?

Bookings made through our site will trigger a request for a review and rating from the client(s). When they enter in their review and rating online it will automatically appear on your profile page and consequently affect your ranking on the listing page of your destination.

Can I remove bad client reviews?

To encourage guides to offer the best services possible and to help promote guides we have devised a ranking system based on these reviews so every review matters.

To remain true to our claim of "unbiased reviews" all reviews will be posted on your profile page. Client reviews cannot be removed unless it is deemed offensive and does not adhere to our Terms & Conditions.

Can I respond to a client review?

We have created this feature so that you can respond back to your reviews. This can be beneficial if you have a review that you feel is unjustified and you wish to state your reasoning to the review. And of course if you have great reviews it is also recommended to respond back to those wonderful reviews as well.

To respond to the reviews sign in and click on the "Client Reviews/Testimonials" tab in your account. Click "Add/Edit Comments" to the review you wish to respond to.

How will I know if I have a booking?

You will receive a booking confirmation (with the booking details) via our onsite messaging system and your personal email account.

Where can I see my private booking details?

If you need to find out information and contact details on a private booking, sign in and click on the "Bookings" tab. Under this section you will find all past and future bookings listed. Next to each listing, you can click on the "View Detail" button to retrieve client contact information and tour details.

This section will not list bookings of your fixed Sightseeing Tours. To find out where to access the Sightseeing Tours bookings list click here.

Where can I see my sightseeing tours booking details?

If you need to find out information and contact details on the sightseeing tour your client has booked with you, sign in and click on the "Tours" tab. Under this section you will find all past to future tours listed. Next to each listing, you can click on the "View Detail" button to retrieve client contact information and tour details.

How will clients contact me?

To ensure both parties are protected and adhere to our Terms & Conditions, we request all communications prior to booking to be made via our onsite message system.

Clients will contact you through our onsite messaging system. When there is a new message in your onsite inbox, we will send you a notification to your email account.

I have received an email notification that I have a new message, how do I respond?

Do not respond to the email notification, such action will not reach the recipient.

To read and respond to the message, you will need to log in to your account and click on the inbox tab. In your inbox you will see all your received messages. To respond, click on the "reply" button next to the message you wish to respond to.

Can I call the client that sent me a message? Or can I email them directly?

To ensure both parties are protected and adhere to our Terms & Conditions, we request all communications prior to booking to be made via our on-site message system.

For the safety of both our tour guides and our traveling customers, all contact information (including address, phone number and email) is released after the confirmation of the booking. Prior to the confirmation of the booking, you can contact the client by clicking "reply" in your inbox or alternatively, create a new message (also found in your inbox).

Where can I search for my sent mail?

Sign in and click on the 'Outbox' tab. In this section you will see all the massages you have sent through our onsite messaging system.

If you are searching for something in particular, enter a keyword or recipient into the "Search Outbox" field.

What is the purpose of the 'Contacts' tab?

This feature acts as your onsite address book, listing all the people you have corresponded with.

Can I customize my notifications preferences?

Sign in and click on the "Notifications" tab to see the available notification options.

How is the deposit calculated?

The deposit is approximately 20% of the total cost of your guiding rate which is rounded up to the nearest amount. Minimum deposit is 1 Euro if the private tour guide is quoting EURO or 1.50 USD if the local private tour guide is quoting USD.

How do I get paid for my guiding services?

You get paid in cash on the day of the scheduled tour by your client.

The transmission of your bank details or/and any other sensitive information over the internet, or electronic storage is never 100% secure. Since we cannot guarantee the absolute security of our online messaging system, do not send out such personal information through the site.

Can I get paid in other currencies?

On your profile page, you can select from a drop down menu your preferred currency of payment.

However, if both parties come to an agreement on the rate (Viator is not liable for this form of agreement –read more on Terms & Conditions and Payment & Fees), the client can also pay you in another currency on the day of the tour.

What is Viator's commission?

The commission is approximately 20% of the total cost of your rate which is rounded up to the nearest amount. Minimum deposit is 1 Euro if the local private tour guide is quoting EURO or 1.50 USD if the local private tour guide is quoting USD.

Learn more on our payment system in the Payment & Fees section.

Can I choose my own guiding rate?

Yes. It is up to the individual guide to decide on their guiding rate that is most fitting to their services.

Why should my clients pay through your system?

Our online payment system is more secure than handling the transaction on your own. We invest a lot into ensuring both parties are protected from fraud and illicit behaviors. Viator uses the internationally recognized and secure Paypal system to process all credit card transactions.

Also, the booking will trigger an automated blockout of the booking date(s) and time(s) to your availability calendar to prevent booking conflicts. Full confirmation details will be sent to you.

Please do not accept payment directly from outside the site. This is against our Terms & Conditions, and prevents us from protecting your booking and payment. We can only provide customer support to those bookings made through our system.

Non-compliant user accounts may be suspended or removed.

How are guides ranked?

Customer experience is very important, and that is why we have created a ranking system based on customer ratings and reviews. Higher rated guides will have a higher rank on the website.

Can I cancel a booking?

If you happen to become unavailable for the booking date, please notify your customer directly as well as our Customer Service Team.

Remember that you are fully responsible to manage your availability calendar and therefore responsible for any calendar conflicts.

How can I change the date and time of a previously confirmed booking?

If under any circumstance you or your client needs to change the time and date of the booking, please contact us.

Can I ask for credit card details?

The transmission of bank details or/and any other sensitive information over the internet, or electronic storage is never 100% secure. Since we cannot guarantee the absolute security of our online messaging system, do not ask for such personal information through the site.

Payments should be submitted through our online payment system for security purposes. We invest a lot into ensuring both parties are protected from fraud and illicit behaviors. Viator uses the internationally recognized and secure Paypal system to process all credit card transactions.

Why must I offer 10% discount to my first two bookings?

Since you have never been booked on our website before, we have a promotion set in place to encourage clients to book with guides who have not yet received any bookings. This is an automated 10% Discount promotion that will only be valid for your FIRST TWO bookings. This is a great promotion offering you a good opportunity to compete with the higher ranked tour guides of your city. After you have secured your first two bookings, the promotion will be automatically removed.

For example if the total cost of the booking is USD $100, the system will calculate the fee as follows:

  • USD $100 - 10% (discount) = USD $90
  • $90 - 20% (commission) = USD $72 due to guide