THE first batch of Cordilleran tour guides who took up Chinese Mandarin language training graduated from their course over the weekend.
S&A Learning solutions trainer Patricia Ann Umali said 17 tour guides engaged in a five-weekend training and acquired skills in basic conversation in a bid to boost tourist arrivals and serve clientele better.
The graduates, she added, are now able to converse, speak and instruct using the language.
"We would want that if we would be welcoming guests from China, we would be able to cater their needs and expectations and in doing that, we would be able to boost the tourism industry here in Baguio City," Umali said.
The Baguio-La-Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) tourism organization president Jeneffer Baltazar said the challenge of the tour guiding profession is anchored on its sustainability.
Baltazar said the Mandarin language is one of the most spoken languages worldwide, with China recording 100 million outbound travelers, and Baguio City a home to a 5,000 strong Chinese community.
"We want to increase the arrivals of foreign tourists with new money coming in the Philippines. We are looking of the economic (impact) primarily and we are looking into selling," said Department of Tourism (DOT)-Cordillera Chief Tourism Operations officer Jovita Ganongan.
Ganongan said there is a huge potential for the internal market considering that direct flights in Clark, Pampanga, been made available for China.
Tour guiding groups are now eyeing to learn Japanese, French and German.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on February 21, 2018.
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