Update by Star Newsdesk
KUALA LUMPUR: With Visit Malaysia Year 2007 less than a month away, the Tourism Ministry is coming up with several incentives to overcome the acute shortage of foreign language speaking tour guides.
“Among the proposed incentives is offering up to 70% subsidy for fees incurred by the guides to take up a foreign language,” its Deputy Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said.
He said there was a demand for 100 Korean-speaking guides and 200 Arab-speaking guides to cope with the influx of tourists next year.
“Among some 3,500 guides, only four speak Korean and another 10 speak Arab,” he
told reporters at the Parliament lobby here Thursday.
Lim said the public and private institutes of higher learning have also been asked to help by providing courses to groom graduates who were interested to become tour guides.
“A tour guide can earn between RM2,000 and RM5,000 a month,” he said, adding
that those who were fluent in other languages, aside from Bahasa Malaysia,
Chinese and English, would have addi tional allowances.
He said there were 6,181 guides registered with the ministry but only 3,562 were active.
And the breakdown of the guides based on their command of languages are Bahasa Malaysia (618), Chinese (1,398), Tamil (7), English (1,194), Japanese (234), Korean (4), Italian (4), Arab (10), French (20), Spanish (9), German (33), Dutch (2), Russian (1), others (28).
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news]