Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park

Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park
(Photo credit: Donna Primas CTG)

Chicago Tour-Guide Professionals Association (CTPA) membership is open to tour guides, individuals interested in becoming tour guides, Destination Management Company (DMC) owners and principals, event planners, transportation companies, museums, shopping malls, restaurants, nightclubs, other venues, or to those with an interest in retaining contact with the Chicago metro area tour guide community. The only condition is an interest in sharing information or promoting tourism in the metro Chicago area.

CTPA members conduct general city highlight tours, and custom develop specialized tours for business, educational or entertainment purposes, either on foot or aboard vehicles or ships. The membership also cooperates with convention groups and Chicago area visitors, furnishing airport meet and greet assistance, escorting groups around town, and assisting at special events, including registration and host/hostess assignments. Many CTPA guides offer special abilities such as fluency in a foreign language or advanced training in areas such as music, ethnic neighborhoods, the arts or architecture.

Application Forms (Download)

Please click here to download the CTPA Membership Application Form (Adobe Acrobat .pdf format)

Please click here to download the CTPA Associate Membership Application Form (Adobe Acrobat .pdf format)

Membership Categories

All members receive the member directory, a member contact sheet called the "Short List", notification of all meetings and events as well as a membership card. According to the By-Laws:

Certified Members are tour guides who have passed the CTPA certification test and have voting rights.

Candidate Members are escorts, guides or others who have not yet passed the certification test and can vote.

Friend Members are retired Certified or Candidate Members, or other individuals who do NOT seek employment as guides nor wish to hire guides, but enjoy all other rights, except voting.

Associate Members are organizations that work within the tourism profession or a related profession, that agree to support the goals of the association and have paid current dues (i.e. Destination Management Companies (DMCs), tour operators, bus or transportation companies, museums, shopping malls, or any company that wants to stay in touch with the CTPA membership and events). Associate Members do not have voting rights.

Current CTPA Membership Breakdown By Category:

Number of Members Member Category Description Type of Entity Works In Tourism Votes?
44 Certified Guide Experienced guides who have passed the CTPA certification test Individual Yes Yes
118 Candidate Guide Guides who have not taken the test or may take it when eligible Individual Yes Yes
15 Friend Individuals who do not seek employment in tourism Individual Does not seek work or retired No
34 Associate DMC's, event planners, venues, shops, transportation & hospitality companies Organization - uses/hires guides Yes No
2 Honorary Recognized for their support of the CTPA and/or guides Individual or Organizational Yes or No No

Membership Fees:

Regular Rate
(January 1 - June 30)
Half Year Rate
(July 1 - December 15)
$40 - Individual Member $25 - Individual Member
$75 - Joint Member
(2 Individuals/same location)
$40 - Joint Member
(2 Individuals/same location)

Associate members (outside the U.S.) - $100
Other Fees: Name Badges (Optional) - $15/badge     Note: Badges are only ordered in February!

Member Benefits:

The CTPA is affiliated with the following:

NFTGA Member
WFTGA Member

Sample Member Directory Listing

When it comes time to complete your CTPA Membership Application Form, you may want to review the following sample biographical listings before composing your own.

Note the type of information included:

Remember to show your strengths and promote yourself!
What do you want people to know about you?


Alvin Capone is a dynamic guide who received his guide training at the Chicago Architecture Foundation where he has been a docent for 25 years. He wrote his master's thesis on Frank Lloyd Wright and he fills his tours with interesting personal anecdotes about the gangster era in Chicago.

Louise Rawls, CTG, was born and raised on the south side and has special insight into the musical side of the city. She has excellent knowledge of the club scene (blues, jazz, new wave, big band, etc.) and also loves to talk about films made in Chicago. Black History, ethnic tours, North Shore or city tours-she does it all!

Although a newcomer to Chicago and guiding, Bob Busser is an experienced transportation and program coordinator. His strength is on-site registration, hospitality desk work and airport meet and greets. If you have a large group coming in town, call Bob to handle the transportation and staffing.

In business since November 1995, Excellent Adventures is a full-service Destination Management Company, capable of handling all your planning and coordination needs. They prefer to hire certified tour guides, but will train as needed. Guides should send their resumes to: Garth.