KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has approved 71 Tourism Training Institute (ILP) licences to conduct tourist guide courses in various languages nationwide.
Its minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the number included tourism guide courses in Mandarin to meet the hike in tourists from China.
‘’As of Oct 31, 2018, the ministry has 18,113 tourist guides nationwide, with 6,885 Mandarin-speaking tourist guides, 894, Cantonese and 90, Hokkien.
‘’During the same period, there were 1,092 licenced tour guide in Sabah with 109 able to speak Cantonese. It is adequate to accommodate the increase in the number of tourists from China,‘’ he said during the question-and-answer session in Dewan Rakyat today.
He was answering to a question from Datuk Liew Chin Jin (PH-Tawau) who asked the ministry to state whether tourist guides who were fluent in Mandarin were enough to meet the increase in tourists from China and the ministry’s effort to ensure there were enough Mandarin-speaking tour guides to meet needs especially in Sabah.
Mohamaddin also said the ministry would channel aid to develop the tourism industry in Sabah if there was a request from the state government.
Answering to a supplementary question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) on the number of tourist guides who were fluent in the Arabic language to handle tourist arrivals from the Middle East, Mohamaddin said there were 113 tour guides who were fluent in the Arabic language nationwide.
“We are prepared to increase their number if there is a demand,‘’ he said. — Bernama