Types of Tour Guides & Drivers in Sri Lanka.

Types of TOur Guides & Drivers in Sri Lanka.

To be a Tour Guide or Tour Driver in Sri Lanka the guide must have a license from Tourism Development Authority under the Ministry of Tourism (Sri Lanka Tourist Board and Guides Association).

Here in Sri Lanka, we have different types of tour guides and drivers. We have listed out the 5 main types of tour guides and drivers.

1 – Licensed Site Guide(s)

These guides are specialized in a particular tourist destination. You can find a lot of Licensed Site Guides primarily in the Cultural Triangle, such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, and Dambulla, as well as in the Kandy temples.

You can find different language speaking site guides too.

2 – Licensed Tour Guides

Licensed Tour Guides are categorized into two.

i – Chauffeur Guides – They handle small groups from 1-7 pax. They drive their own vehicle, which varies from Luxury Cars to mini air-conditioned vans, and guides the tourist.

ii – National Guide Lecturer – National tourist guides commonly handle large groups of tourists and travelers in large tourist coaches driven by a dedicated driver.

EXCURSION GUIDES: These types of guides are allowed to guide main tourist destinations. This includes a one-day excursion or a certain number of few days.

3 – Licensed Tour Drivers in Sri Lanka

These drivers are approved by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authorities and Tourist Board. This is one of the most secure ways to travel since these tour drivers are monitored by the tourist board of Sri Lanka. In case of any disputes, the tourist board of Sri Lanka will directly take legal action for you.

They are limited to taking the tourist to various tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Licensed Tour Drivers usually use site guides in these tourist destinations.

If they are engaged in tours, they are allowed only to drive regardless of how much experience and information they have in the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.

4 – Standard Drivers in Sri Lanka

If you are on a tight budget, Standard Drivers are the go-to. Despite not having an authorized tourist board license they can be a great transport solution for transfers.

The fluency of English depends from person to person. They are not authorized to engage in guiding archeological sites & tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

5 – Taxi Operators (including airport counters at Bandaranaike Airport)

There are many taxi services that operate in Sri Lanka.

They range from luxury cars and SUVs to Vans, to the very popular mini Tata Nano cars used by many taxi services. They are allowed, to drive tourists but you should not hire them as guides.