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Kinmen to take int'l tourist stage with English Service Emblems

Sixty-four businesses in Kinmen were yesterday certified with the English Service Emblem by the county government. Magistrate Li Wo-tu (李沃土) called on other businesses to participate in the program to help Kinmen expand onto the international tourism stage.

“We are encouraging businesses to upgrade their services for international travelers,” Li said.

According to the government's website, the purpose of the emblem is to encourage service providers in the private sector to work with the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) of the Executive Yuan to build an English-language environment. Service personnel of each sector are encouraged to improve their English abilities to help resolve issues encountered by foreigners visiting and living in Taiwan.

The program evaluates businesses in several categories. According to the evaluation results, the qualified businesses are awarded with a Gold or Silver English Services Emblem.

This year, the California Sandwich Cafe in Jincheng Township was awarded the Gold Emblem by the RDEC, while all 63 other businesses were awarded the Silver Emblem by the magistrate.

Li stated that Kinmen has the potential to become an internationalized tourist travel destination, but said he is worried that not enough personnel have adequate English abilities to provide the right service.

“That is the reason I have been pushing for businesses to join the program. Many foreigners have been very pleased with the outcome.”

According to Li, the tourism development in Kinmen can be divided into two stages. “The first stage is mostly domestic travelers who come from Taiwan. Now, we are into the second stage where mainly our tourists come from mainland China.”

Li said he hopes that promoting travel without tour groups will fuel the flow of travelers to Kinmen. “With the increase in travelers, businesses in Kinmen will benefit from the English Service Program,” he said.

For those who receive the English Service Emblem, the RDEC has also provided a function for businesses to mark their locations in Google Maps. That way, visitors will have ease in finding stores with English services.

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