Kyoto Shimbun 2014.8.16 News

English Course to Train Officials in Hospitality for Foreigners
Kyoto City

Kyoto City is providing an English course for city officials to enhance their language ability in order to transmit information internationally on the Kyoto brand and attract more foreign companies. This is the city's first attempt and aims to cultivate the ability to convey Kyoto's culture and history. Until October, participants are learning English expressions about themes including Japanese food, Geiko and Maiko, the Emperor and shoguns.

Since Kyoto has been ranked the number one city worldwide for tourists in a famous American magazine and is also gaining attention abroad, Kyoto City intends to increase the number of officials who can talk about the attractiveness of Kyoto in English, and aims to strengthen "Omotenashi-ryoku," or a sense of hospitality,

Enrolled in the course are a total of 32 officials who are competent in English at the everyday conversation level who were chosen out of 90 people who wished to attend the lectures. They have been learning once a week after work since late July at Kyoto Oike Souseikan in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

The lecturers are licensed guides and the city officials also have opportunities to communicate with native speakers of English, including foreign students studying in Japan. They will obtain firsthand experience at guiding foreign visitors around sightseeing spots, as well as acquire tips on explaining the history and culture of Kyoto and Japan over a total of ten lectures.

A public relations officer in the mayor's office who is taking the course said, "I applied for this course because I thought I would be able to apply it in business from now on. As many other participants are also highly-motivated and the contents of the course are practical, I would like to learn well."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= An English course for Kyoto city officials is being held in order to disseminate information to foreign countries and to strengthen "Omotenashi-ryoku," or hospitality power (Kyoto Oike Souseikan, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto)