Sue Kerr, Hong Kong tour guide Age: 49. Career path: Everyone else at school in Tunbridge Wells, southeast England, just wanted to get married, but I wanted to see the world. When I left, I worked as a secretary for a few years and then, aged 21, went to live on a kibbutz in Israel for six months. Once there, I met people from all over the world, which gave me the taste for travelling. I emigrated to Canada, but it was too cold there, so I backpacked all around the United States, Canada and Mexico. Since then I have travelled all around Asia, Australia and Africa, working in bars and fruit-picking; I even worked in a fish factory once. When I came to Hong Kong in 1981, I fell in love with the place. I moved here permanently in 1987 and became the manager of the Big Apple and then Mad Dogs, but the hours started to bother me. Then I saw an ad from the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) for guides and they trained me. Now I even do tours out at Chep Lap Kok. I think I have found my vocation, I love being a tour guide. Sue's day: If I'm doing a 'Land Between Us' tour in the New Territories I have to be up at 6 am, go to the office in Tsim Sha Tsui and then pick up the tourists at the YMCA or Star Ferry. I never know until I get there what kind of crowd they are. Sometimes it's like talking to a brick wall, other times I get a lot of questions and feedback. I love it because I'm out and about, moving around, and once we are on the bus, I am my own boss in charge of everybody. Doing airports tours is different - the visitors aren't tourists. They are businessmen, engineers, Customs and Excise staff, flight crews from the airlines and even diplomats. About five times as many people apply for the tour than we can show round. We give people an overall view, not technical stuff. Sometimes the experts ask questions when they know the answers, just to check up on you. But we usually have an Airport Authority expert with us. I often get invited to lunch with them afterwards, or taken out on their private boats; that is great fun. Over the handover we are having Government Open Days for the general public, for about 35,000 visitors. Salary: I get $660 per airport tour (I can fit in two a day) and $745 for the Land Between Us Tour. I work six days a week. Ambition: I would like to have my own tour business. I've a lot of ideas, perhaps shopping trips to Thailand for expatriate wives. I would like to be at the official opening of the airport too, having seen it grow from nothing. Dick Chun, international tour guide. Age : 26. Career Path: This is my first job after graduating in Accountancy at the Baptist University. I've been doing it now for three years. I'm an outgoing person and enjoy meeting all sorts of people, so I didn't fancy becoming an accountant. I saw an advert for the job and got it. I was given a week's training and learned about the company's background, counter-sales servicing, crisis management and tour-leading skills. I passed the test and became a short-haul escort guide. Soon after that I was promoted to a long-haul escort. Before taking up the job, I had to follow an experienced escort guide to the other countries for once. At present, I take tours mainly to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I get a lot of satisfaction from the job and get many thankyou letters from clients. To be an escort guide you have to have good language skills. There is not an age limitation in this career, but being physically fit is important. Dick's day: I have to lead one to two tours each month. A long-haul tour lasts at least eight days. Although the tour schedule changes every day, I always have to get up earlier and go to be later than the customers. I have to make all kinds of arrangements like contacting the bus-drivers and organising the meals. I usually sleep six hours a day, but I'm on call round the clock. I have to work on Saturdays and Sundays and I do not have much time with my family, especially during the long vacations; they are the peak seasons for us. If I am not on a trip, I will stay in the Tsuen Wan branch on counter-service. I have to answer all sorts of customers' questions abouts the tours, visas, hotels, air tickets, insurance, etc. I start work at 10 or 11 am and I work eight hours a day. I usually have lunch nearby. During my leisure time, I play sport, especially soccer. I still like to take my vacation abroad, and not in a tour group. I enjoy planning my own tour and collect all kinds of information. Salary: This is confidential in our business. It is not easy to calculate as it depends on both the basic salary and tips. Ambition: My short-term goal is to lead tours to Europe and the States, but in the long-term, I want to work in management. I can deal with operations like planning trips and co-ordinating suppliers in other countries.