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Chew: More Guides Needed to Cater for Influx of Chinese Tourists

Brief: According to MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to cater for the influx of tourists from China, more Malaysians should become tour guides.
To cater for the influx of tourists from China, more Malaysians should become tour guides, MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun says.

Chew said more than 1.5 million Chinese visited Malaysia annually and the Government hoped the number would increase to eight million by 2020.

“We are facing a shortage of Chinese-speaking tour guides.

“There is a need for more as the Chinese market is big. If we do not act quickly, we may lose out to our neighbours such as Indonesia,” Chew said at the 10th anniversary of the Malaysian Women Tour Guide Association (MWTGA).

She said around half of Malaysia's 12,874 registered tour guides speak Chinese.

“According to statistics in 2016, there were 12,874 tour guides registered with the ministry, of whom 5,607 speak Mandarin, 846 Cantonese and 90 Hokkien. I think we have to work hard to increase the number,” said Chew.

Chew, who is also Women, Family, and Community Development Deputy Minister, also urged more women to join the profession, adding that the Government aimed to achieve a female labour force participation rate of 59% by 2020.

Chew also urged entrepreneurs to create a woman-friendly workplace.

The MWTGA was formed with the original objective of fighting against the bias practiced against women, she said.

“I know it was not easy for you to fight for your rights. I know many women tour guides have been put in ‘cold storage’ and deprived of assignments after they voiced out against the practice.

“Torn between keeping their jobs and figh­ting for their rights, many have succumbed to the pressure,” she said.

Their efforts were fruitful when the practice was banned in 2009.

Both Chew, then MCA Wanita chief, and the association president Erina Loo were key contributors in getting the practice banned.

“The MWTGA did not succumb to the overwhelming pressure.

“This is our pride as women. We need to believe in ourselves and fight for our rights,” Chew said.

Women comprised 48.7% of the Malaysian population, and 54.2% of them were in the labour force, she added.
Source: The Star Online
TagsChinese tourists Chinese visited Malaysia China tourism market

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