There are only two aspects now preventing the country’s tourism industry from performing at its best – taxi drivers and tourist guides.
Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim, who identified the two front-liners as the “final frontier” in making Malaysia stand proud as a tourist destination, said the Government had done what it could and it was now up to them to make a change.
“Errant cabbies have been warned and punished, but despite repeated efforts by the Government, many still overcharge and refuse to use their meters and are rude.
“We have done what we can, and it is now up to them and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) to assess whether they are playing their role to help the country’s tourism industry,” he said.
Lim also urged the CVLB to re-assess its administrative and operating systems in handling the recurrent problem of errant cabbies.
He added that a new comprehensive system was needed to ensure that the situation would improve, and suggested the CVLB look at other countries for inspiration.
Speaking during the launch of the SEGi College Hotel Management and Tourism Programmes here yesterday, Lim also pointed out the need for tourist guides to learn more languages to attract more tourists from more countries.
“Our tourist guides are excellent when it comes to English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and even Japanese.
“But then again, we have to broaden our scope because we also have many tourists who do not speak English very well.
“West Asian tourists, for example, would definitely be impressed if tourist guides could speak Arabic, and they make up the bulk of tourist arrivals per year.
“Even Spanish and French should be picked up as they are widely spoken in many parts of the world,” he said, adding that there were 460,000 people in Malaysia involved in the tourism industry which contributes some 8% of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Lim also urged for the public to play their role in welcoming tourists to achieve the Government’s target of 20 million tourist arrivals this year.
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2007]