Jetting off to an exciting destination as part of your work may be what everyone dreams about, but for one woman, being a tour guide has become a 20-year career that fulfils her passion for travel. Many people assume that a guide's work simply involves escorting tourists around the sights, but for Emily Leung Chun-mui it involves much more. 'Taking care of tourists is like being a babysitter, a teacher and an ambassador all rolled into one,' Ms Leung said. 'Guides teach tourists about the culture and history of a country, and we are also like ambassadors who are the face of the city and promote Hong Kong to the world. 'If we give tourists the best service we can, they will want to visit the city again.' Ms Leung has always had a passion for travel, taking her first trip in 1984 to a mainland city, but she never thought it could be her career. Her first job after leaving school was a clerk at a trading company in 1984, but before long she realised it was not for her. She quit and sent applications to several companies, including a travel agency, which was the first to call, with a job offer. She worked at the company learning the ropes for a few years before she joined Hong Thai Travel Services. One of her most memorable experiences came on a trip 10 years ago to Hangzhou , the capital of Zheijiang province . Two days before the group was scheduled to return to Hong Kong, the tourists were having tea at a restaurant when a woman in her 50s who had a heart condition suddenly collapsed. The woman's face turned red, she began to sweat and she started frothing at the mouth. Ms Leung reacted quickly, calling the driver of the tour bus to get the woman to a nearby hospital. When they arrived at the accident and emergency department, Ms Leung calmly told the doctor what had happened and demanded that they treat her immediately. 'I told the doctor, 'Don't talk about money. Save her as soon as possible',' she said. The woman recovered, and Ms Leung realised she was the type of person who could react quickly in an emergency and could calm anxious tourists in a life-or-death situation. This was among many experiences she has had in her travels to many parts of the world, including the Mediterranean, European countries and less developed places such as India. The 44-year-old enjoys her job so much that she usually makes many friends during her journeys. Some of them have become close friends who go on trips with her outside of her job. But on the job, she is an effervescent character who sings and dances with the tourists she escorts. 'I can get along with people from different backgrounds ranging from low-income groups to high earners,' Ms Leung said. In her 20 years as a guide, the tourists have always been her highest priority. Her sincerity and wholehearted devotion to ensuring that members of her group have a good time, regardless of what is happening and wherever they are, have been rewarded. Her efforts were recognised this year with third prize in the 'favourite Hong Kong tour guide' category in an industry awards scheme. The award is recognition from the tourists for her performance on the job. However, it has not always been rosy - there was a moment when she thought being a tour guide was not her cup of tea. In 1991, she quit the travel agency, went back to her trading company job and decided she wanted to study in the United States. Unfortunately, her family could not afford it. This was when she realised how much she missed being a tour guide, so she rejoined the industry. Ms Leung, who now works for Eastern Coast Travel (Hong Kong), compares the job to looking in a mirror that reminds her to always be polite, courteous and helpful. 'I have to speak politely in front of the tourists. I have to make them happy,' she said. 'I will always try my best to do my job well and bring the best of Hong Kong to all the tourists I meet. I will keep on doing this job until the day I can no longer do it.'