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Tourism agency providing local hospitality support

Date Posted: 2012-01-13

Foreigners visiting Okinawa will soon be finding it easier to communicate and get around, thanks to new measures from the Okinawa Tourism Center.

Translations and interpretation services are now being provided to restaurants and hotels in real time to facilitate service to visitors, with Okinawa Tourism Centerís 18 staff members responding to foreign queries. The tourism agency has also created some simple manuals featuring samples of various foreign language conversations that can be used by employees at hotels and restaurants.

The new service comes as a joint venture between Office ICC, a translation and interpretation ~ think tank company, OTS Service Management Laboratory and Okinawa Tourism Center. The collaboration began several months ago, with the goal of providing more adequate support for visiting foreigners. In addition to translating food menus and providing facility guidance, the OTC will begin deploying lecturers to restaurants and hotels to provide customer service training.

The Okinawa Tourism Support Center is establishing databases needed to track conversation patterns, and is already offering support to a dozen facilities free. The 18 staff members are now able to provide services in English, Korean and Chinese. Their skills are being cross checked with native speakers in each language, to be sure the translation and interpretations are accurate.

Under the Opinion Committee System, seven foreign nationals living in Okinawa are providing guidance to the center on a regular basis, integrating their opinions on tourism themes. The company plans to expand the tourism program in the coming few months.

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