THE Malaysian tourism industry has developed and become the second highest contributor for the Malaysian economy.
"Despite the current global recession, last year, Malaysia recorded an increase of 5.1 per cent in tourist arrivals, from 20.97 million tourists in 2007 to 22.05 million in 2008," said Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng, secretary-general of the Ministry of Tourism at Institut Karisma's convocation yesterday.
"There is an urgent need for more qualified and registered tourist guides. Currently we have a total of 4,837 active tourist guides in Malaysia and only 10.3 per cent are skilled in foreign languages," Ond said.
"The Ministry is strongly encouraging existing tourist guides to enrich themselves through greater command of foreign languages such as Dutch, German, Russian, French and Arabic. We are embarking on providing foreign language courses to address this need and encouraging more people to take up this career, including school-leavers and those unemployed."
Source : MalayMail
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