“Bonjour, et bienvenue à Guangzhou,” Tang Wenjian, a driver on the city’s No. 14 bus line, says in fluent French, wearing a signature smile and badges from different countries. Tang is welcoming a French passenger aboard his bus. And his newly honed French, he says, even helped a lost African find his way.
To welcome visitors attending the 2017 Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou near the end of this year, city bus drivers are encouraged to study words of welcome and greeting in English, French, Germany, Spanish, and Arabic, to enhance service to visiting passengers and to upgrade the bus service.
In addition, booklets on rider safety, Guangzhou tourist maps and information on the city’s special rapid transit buses will be provided in Chinese and English to tourists as they board buses.
Guangzhou traffic department is providing staff members with training in speaking foreign languages, etiquette, first aid training and ways to provide helpful service to disabled passengers.
“Guangzhou becomes more and more international, once you board the bus you will know that.” said a local resident
A driver from the No. B19 bus named Liao said the foreign language training is helping him feel more confident in greeting foreign passengers on his bus.
Yangyang the goat, the city’s bus mascot, will be on hand at stations to greet visiting passengers.
(By Joanna You, Louis Berney)