The New Taipei city government is seeking to recruit new immigrants and their children to serve as tour guides to help cope with requirements in the face of a surge in tourist arrivals from Southeast Asian countries.
Citing statistics compiled by the Tourism Bureau, New Taipei's Tourism and Travel Department said that a total of 437,016 Southeast Asian tourists visited Taiwan in the first eight months of this year, a rise of 36,169 from the same period of last year.
Thanks to the "new southbound policy" broached by the central government, and its streamlined visa issuance process for applicants from countries in the region implemented by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, who assumed office May 20, the department said the number of Southeast Asian tourists coming to Taiwan has been growing steadily.
The trend underscores an urgent need for New Taipei, which has more new immigrants from Southeast Asian countries than any other city or county in Taiwan at 72,498, to enroll more tour guides who can speak Malay, Vietnamese, Thai or Indonesian, to help promote tourism, regardless of whether they are Taiwanese, new immigrants and their children, or foreigners of other nationalities.
Against this backdrop, New Taipei, the most populous administrative area of Taiwan and abounding in natural scenery and cultural attractions, will offer a free three-month training program for potential tour guides able to speak Southeast Asian languages.
Those willing to take national examinations to become certified tour guides will receive NT$1,000 (US$31.5) as a registration fee from the city government for them to sit the examinations, according to the department.
During the course of the training program, which is slated to kick off Oct. 28, free textbooks and lunches will also be provided as incentives to encourage participants to take part, according to the department.
The city government is planning to recruit 45 trainees, with a further five candidates on a back-up waiting list for the training program, the department said. It noted, however, that new immigrants and their children will have priority for admission.
Those interested in taking part in the program can log on to the department's official website at www.ecoshintour.com/ntpctourguide for related information,
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel