by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – THE upskilling of South African tour guides in the Mandarin language is poised to enhance the country’s drive to attract more tourists from China.
Some 34 guides recently received certificates after participating in the second phase of the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) 2 course.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela presided over the graduation in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.
He said Chinese tourist market presented a vast opportunity to South Africa.
According to the World Tourism Barometer of October 2018, China was the leading outbound market in terms of tourism expenditure, followed by the Unites States of America (USA) and Germany, Mhahlalela noted.
A concept document for the implementation of the Mandarin language programme for tourist guides was developed after consultations with various key stakeholders including Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Embassy for the People’s Republic of China as well as the National and Provincial Registrars of Tourist Guides.
HSK is an international standardised language proficiency examination with six levels.
The first phase of the training culminated in 55 tourist guides trained across all nine provinces.
The third phase will focus on exposure to platforms where guides can have the opportunity to practice their Mandarin skills and, in the process, gain more confidence and experience.
Mandarin is the largest of Chinese dialect groups. It is spoken by 70 percent of all Chinese speakers.
– CAJ News