Assisted by the Alliance Cultural Foundation, the Taitung County Government recently announced its intention to train two groups of taxi drivers in the county, in the hope of establishing a professional tourism taxi business and thereby enhance the quality of tourism in Taitung.
On Nov. 27, Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) visited the first group of taxi drivers enrolled in goodwill driver training courses and encouraged them to provide both domestic and foreign passengers with quality service.
The Alliance Cultural Foundation arranged for assistant professor Patrick Su of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism to teach the taxi drivers at the Visitor Center located in the old railway station on Nov. 29 and early this month.
The tourism goodwill course includes simple English and Japanese conversation on tourist subjects and how to introduce scenic spots, people, culture and the culinary delights of Taitung to visitors to eastern Taiwan, likely to be brought in on future direct flights between Hualien or Taitung and Hong Kong as well as Japan.
The taxi drivers responded well to the training course, which will help them to make visitors to Taitung feel as welcome as possible. Su told Huang and Taitung Department of Culture and Tourism Director Chen Shu-huei (陳淑慧) that the taxi drivers were glad to have the one-day course.
Huang said that taxi drivers were an important part of the effort to promote tourism. After introducing a connecting bus service at the end of June, the county government specifically asked the Alliance Cultural Foundation to invite Su to teach Taitung taxi drivers how best to upgrade the quality of tourism in Taitung.
The county government plans to establish a Taitung Tourism Goodwill Taxi Service Team next year, hoping to provide foreign visitors with diverse, mobile and safe tour guide services by making taxi drivers an integral part of the Taitung tourism development effort.
After the two hour-training course, the top 15 taxi drivers will be selected to form the goodwill tourism taxi service team. The government will then issue them with special identification uniforms and stickers, as well as post related information on the official Taitung County Web site and publicize the taxi service team through its various activities.
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