Friday, June 21

Sarawak mulls special test for would-be tour guides

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KUCHING: To strengthen the tourism sector, the Sarawak Tourism and Heritage Ministry plans to introduce a special examination for prospective tour guides in the state by year-end.

The minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the proposed examination was aimed at helping those keen on becoming tour guides but were unable to get a licence after failing the test conducted by the federal tourism ministry.

He said some of the guides who sat for examinations under the tourism ministry failed because some of the subjects were unrelated to Sarawak.

He was speaking to reporters after chairing the state tourism steering committee here today.

Abang Johari said the syllabus for the state examination was being prepared by tourism experts, including lecturers from University Malaysia Sarawak.

He said those who got through would be given a licence as tourist guide, but it would only be valid in Sarawak.

According to Abang Johari, it was important for the Sarawak tourism industry to have skilled and knowledgeable tour guides who could provide accurate information to foreign visitors.

“Sometimes, taxi drivers also become tourist guides…they may tell different stories, resulting in tourists having all sorts of information,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari disclosed that his ministry planned to introduce a fund aimed at promoting the state’s tourism sector.

He said, to ensure the establishment of the fund, the ministry would seek the cooperation of industry players such as hotel operators. – Bernama