Pontianak (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is in need of around 35,000 tourist guides in light of the country`s target of attracting 7 million foreign tourists in 2010.
"The Indonesian Tourist Guides Association (HPI) at present has 12,000 members, and for just 2 million tourists, we need around 10,000 guides," I Nyoman Kandia, chairman of the HPI`s central executive board, said here on Friday.
Of the existing 12,000 tourist guides, he said, only about 30 percent were categorized as professional ones.
According to Nyoman Kandia, tourist guides played an important role in supporting the tourism industry in the country.
"Tourist guides are required to master everything related to tourism objects, foreign exchange rates, and other kinds of information not directly related to tourism," Kandia said.
In addition, he said, they were also required to master as many foreign languages as possible.
"Foreign language mastery is compulsory for tourist guides," Nyoman Kandia said, adding that about 50 percent of foreign tourists` satisfaction depended on the tourist guides` capability to explain everything they see or experience in the country.
Therefore, he expressed hope that the central government would facilitate the training of professional tourist guides for all tourist destination areas across the country.
"The HPI central executive board has a management program for professional tourist guides, although it has not been easy to carry out the program," Nyoman Kandia said.
Meanwhile, the Culture and Tourism Ministry (Depbudpar) has set itself the target of enticing 7 million foreign tourists to visit Indonesia in 2010, or up from from the 2009 target of 6.5 million tourists.
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