【二官語新聞】黃偉哲授證計程車駕駛英語友善標章 期勉外語培訓計畫促升台南國際觀光城市風貌Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che Awards English-Friendly Emblems to Taxi Drivers
Tourism and the F&B industry have been hit hard by COVID-19. In response, the Tainan City Government has invested in promoting the English, Japanese, and Korean proficiency of local taxi drivers. Today (28th), Mayor Huang Wei-che issued English-friendly emblems in person to 53 taxi drivers that qualified after receiving training. This training program encourages business operators to increase business by elevating their language proficiency. Mayor Huang anticipates that in the future, Tainan, which is already an internationally renowned tourism hotspot, will become an even more tourist-friendly city. President Han Ji-Cang of the Tainan City Taxi Association also attended the event and presented Mayor Huang with local pineapple cakes as a token of thanks.
Mayor Huang mentioned that as a popular international travel destination, Tainan attracts tourists from around the world. Although global air travel has been temporarily suspended because of the pandemic, business operators and drivers have taken this time to attend courses organized by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, thereby further enhancing their professional skills. Turn out for the English course has been excellent and interest in the upcoming Japanese and Korean courses has also been high. The municipal government conducts course assessments to ensure that everyone's needs are met. Mayor Huang anticipates that in the future, drivers can continue to strengthen their professional skillsets, which will further elevate service quality in Tainan.
Tainan City Council members Tsai Hsiao-Wei and Li Chi-Wei also attended the event. President Han state that in the past, when drivers picked up Japanese or Korean tourists, their only means of communication was to speak English. To improve their services, the Bureau of Tourism will now offer Japanese and Korean courses on top of English courses. In addition to strengthening drivers' language proficiency, these courses also give drivers a better understanding of Tainan's tourism resources. After having taken these courses, drivers can recommend itineraries that suit the needs of different tourists. Improving their quality of service is an ideal means of giving drivers a competitive edge.
Statistics published by the Bureau of Tourism indicate that 640,000 foreign persons visited Tainan in 2019, a 20% increase compared to 2018. In particular, the number of Japanese and Korean tourists grew by 34% and 32%, respectively. To accommodate the growth in Japanese and Korean travelers, the central government subsidized the Tainan City Government's Japanese and Korean training courses, which are set to begin in May. A total of three courses are offered, namely "Tainan's Tourism Resources and Itinerary Design," "Introducing Tainan's Tourism Resources and Conversing in Japanese," and "Introducing Tainan's Tourism Resources and Conversing in Korean." The courses are taught over a period of two months. An English-Japanese-Korean trilingual booklet will also be published shortly. The pragmatic content of these courses will undoubtedly help with taxi drivers' business. By improving their language skills, taxi drivers can set themselves apart and enhance Tainan's reputation as a city that is friendly to international tourists.