OCVB multilingual tourist info inquiries increased 9% in 2016

Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) announced an analysis of the usage of its multilingual contact center for foreign tourists in 2016.

According to the analysis, the center received 7,145 inquiries in 2016 that is 8.7% more than the previous year. Most of the inquiries were requests to interpret for taxi drivers or hotel receptionists.

The OCVB says the analysis highlights the fact that visiting tourists do not receive enough multilingual services. Detailed inquiries, like photo shooting services at wedding ceremonies, are increasing, and another emerging problem is that there are not enough specialists or businesses that are able to deal with the demand.

By language, inquiries for assistance in Chinese numbered 4,290 comprising 70% of the total. Subjects of the inquiries ranged from interpreting to general tour information. 503 inquiries involved some sort of trouble, and 356 were in regards of public transportation.

There were also many cases involving interpreting for a tourist who wanted to receive emergency medical care, or interpreting for medical personnel who treated a foreign tourist. Many inquiries asked for information on fireworks or specific event information.

OCVB provides the service via telephone, Skype, or E-mail.