LOCAL tour agents are in need of more licensed tour guides with Mandarin proficiency to cope with the growing number of visitors from China.
Simon Keenan, Head of Business and Hospitality Department at Laksamana College of Business (LCB) said tour agents are currently “short-staffed” and looking for Mandarin-speaking tour guides to fill in the gap in the industry.
He shared this during his remarks at the certificate presentation ceremony to award 13 tour guides for completing the Basic and Bridging Tour Guiding course, held at Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT)’s Setia Pahlawan Hall.
A total of 127 licence tour guides have been given since the initiative was introduced back in 2016 by LCB in-partnership with the Tourism Development Department, MPRT.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the MPRT, Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali presented the certificates. Also present was Acting Director of Tourism Development, Kartini binti Haji Kabri.
The courses was divided into two, with the ‘Tourist Bridging Course’ for existing tour guides, held for five days, and a ‘Tourist Guide Basic’ for new and upcoming tour guides and takes 21 days to complete.
LCB hopes to make the course more accessible, including a shorter-time period, conducting night classes and a new syllabus related to the current industry needs, explained Keenan.
Registrations for the ‘Tourist Guide Basic Course’ at LCB are open for the June and October intake.
The course hopes to enhance the quality of tour guides in Brunei, in line with the developing tourism industry. It also gives them the opportunity to work in a team, improve time management skills and stay up-to-date with their knowledge on Brunei, such as its historical facts.
Under Section 21 of the Tourism Order 2016, it is now a requirement for all tourist guides in the Sultanate to be licensed.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali and Acting Director of Tourism Development, Kartini binti Haji Kabri in a group photo with Simon Keenan, Head of Business and Hospitality Department at Laksamana College of Business (LCB) and tour guides. – AZIZ IDRIS
Any person found guilty of operating tour guides without accredited licence will be fined not exceeding $5,000 for the first offence, and in the case of a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.