Travel Guide Licensing

States Licensed


of 50 states and D.C.


Burden Rank


for average burdens 1st is worst


Combined Rank


for states licensed x average burdens 1st is worst

Change from 2017 to 2022, if any:
Burden increased
Burden decreased
Mixed burden change
New license
Eliminated license
2022 Licensing Burden Rank
Lower Burden Rank
Higher Burden Rank
No state license

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Travel guides plan, organize and conduct long distance cruises, tours and expeditions for individuals and groups. This report looks at what is required to run one’s own business as a travel guide. Where requirements vary by work setting, we observe the setting with the least burdensome requirements. See Appendix B for details.

2022 Snapshot

  • 14 unlicensed states
  • Days lost range from 0 (28 states) to 1,095 (Maine, New Mexico)
  • Fees range from $10 (West Virginia) to $2,370 (Wyoming)
  • 12 states require 1+ exam
  • 17 states set minimum age
  • 0 states set minimum grade

Changes Since 2017

  • No licenses created or removed
  • 9 states increased fees, while New Hampshire and Maryland decreased them; Wyoming and Hawaii increased exams
  • Burden rank worsened 3 spots and combined rank worsened 1 spot, largely because of fee and exam increases

2022 Licensing Burden in Detail

N New License
E Eliminated License

Data Notes: 2022 data collected between February 3, 2020, and March 18, 2022. Fees include charges for application review and license issuance; exams; background checks, credit reports and fingerprinting; recovery fund contributions; third-party certification; and certain fees for training courses. Calendar days lost were estimated based on required education and experience; except for amounts smaller than one day, days lost are rounded to whole days and thus may not reflect very small changes between 2017 and 2022. Appendix A details methods for estimating days lost and calculating burden ranks. Complete data, including revised 2017 data, are available at

Additional Resources