JOHANNESBURG - Sixteen trainees representing tour guides from the Northern Cape, Northwest and Free State in South Africa have started a six-week Chinese language training course in Johannesburg in a move to lure more Chinese tourists.
The training programme, which started Monday, was under the cooperation between the Confucius Classroom at Chinese Culture and International Education Exchange Center and the Department of Tourism in South Africa.
The Confucius Classroom at the Chinese Culture and International Education Exchange Centre was established in July 2014.
Uveshnee Pillay, Director at the Department of Tourism, said at the opening ceremony that tourism is an important cooperation sector between China and South Africa.
She hoped Chinese-speaking tour guides will attract more Chinese tourists.
Zhou Yong, Cultural Affairs Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in South Africa sent a congratulatory video to the opening ceremony.
Zhou said China and South Africa have enjoyed mutually beneficial cooperation in tourism, and that language training for tour guides is one of the most practical and proficient measures welcomed by the tourism sector.
The Confucius Classroom has undertaken five annual Chinese language training programs for the Tourist Guiding Office of the Department of Tourism of South Africa since 2016.
In 2019, South Africa signed a two-year agreement with Chinese Internet firm Tencent, using its popular WeChat platform to market tourism to millions in China.
“This strategic co-operation agreement is one of many initiatives developed to increase arrivals from China to South Africa,” former Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a statement at the time.