The New Taipei City Government is looking to recruit new immigrants and their children to serve as tour guides in response to a surge in tourist arrivals from Southeast Asia.
Citing Tourism Bureau statistics, the New Taipei City Tourism and Travel Department said 437,016 Southeast Asian tourists visited the nation in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 36,169 over the same period last year.
Thanks to the central government’s “new southbound policy” and its streamlined tourism visa process for applicants from Southeast Asia, the number of tourists from the region has grown steadily, the department said.
The trend underscores the need for the city, which has 72,498 new immigrants from Southeast Asia, more than any other city or county in Taiwan, to find tour guides who can speak Malay, Vietnamese, Thai or Indonesian, to help promote tourism, the department said.
It does not matter whether the aspiring guides are Taiwanese, new immigrants or their children, or other foreigners, it said.
The city is to offer a free three-month training program for potential guides who can speak a Southeast Asian language.
The training program is scheduled to begin on Friday next week.
Free textbooks and lunches will be provided, and participants willing to take the national examinations to become certified guides will receive NT$1,000 to cover the registration fee for the national guide examinations, the department said.
The city hopes to register 45 people for the course and wait list of five back-up candidates, and new immigrants and their children will be given priority, the department said.
Those interested in the in the program can find further details on the department’s Web site, ecoshintour.com/ntpctourguide.
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