KOTA KINABALU: A crash course to train some 300 tourist guides is being organised to cater for an anticipated 60,000 Chinese tourists heading for Malaysia during the Chinese New Year season.
Deputy Culture, Art and Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said the one-week crash course with about 50 hours of training would be held at five schools in the peninsula from next week.
“The licences of the guides will be valid for two weeks but we hope they will continue to become full-time guides,” she told reporters after a dinner gathering with China’s Xiamen Airlines general manager Huang Zhenyang. Huang was introduced to Sabah tourism representatives at Gayana Resort here during the dinner on Monday.
Dr Ng said the key areas of the training would be to develop positive attitudes among the guides.
“They should be positive, caring, friendly and compassionate. They should not consider the guide’s job as just a job,” she said.
She said during the course, the guides would be taught the various aspects of Malaysia’s tourism marketing slogan “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”
Apart from learning about Malaysia’s various tourist attractions as well as it’s multi-ethnic mix of people, they would also be told to explain to tourists that Malaysia is a safe place.
Dr Ng, who is taking Xiamen officials on a familiarisation tour of Sabah including to Danum Valley and Mount Kinabalu, said Malaysia is targeting 750,000 Chinese tourists this year.
She said tourists from China had been growing since 1999 due to more direct access to various parts of China.