Tokyo opent callcenter voor toeristen

Het lokale bestuur van de Japanse hoofdstad Tokyo heeft vrijdag een callcenter geopend voor toeristen om communicatie met bedrijven en instellingen te verbeteren. Dit unieke callcenter zal 24 uur per dag geopend zijn om buitenlandse bezoekers te helpen met de taalbarrière en zal informatie bieden over evenementen en het openbaar vervoer.

Het callcenter biedt ook de mogelijkheid als tolk op te treden in winkels en restaurants en toeristen kunnen foto’s sturen van borden of brochures die dan voor hun vertaald worden.

Hieronder het persbericht van de stad:

 

Calls to the center are toll-free and its services are free of charge, aside from internet access fees.

“What foreign tourists struggle with the most is the language barrier in getting information about tourist attractions and how to use public transport,” said an official at the metro government’s Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs.

The official said the new call center hopes to focus on those issues, unlike Tokyo’s past attempts.

“We had set up multilingual call centers in fiscal 2015 specifically for businesses, namely hotels, restaurants, tax-free shops and taxi businesses” to facilitate communication with their customers, but this time the focus is on helping travelers who don’t understand Japanese, the official said.

The Japan Tourism Agency found that communication issues were the biggest problem for visitors, a September-October survey found last year.

About 26 percent said they had trouble communicating with service staff, while some 22 percent said they struggled to understand Japanese signs and maps, citing the lack of multilingual versions or comprehensible translations. Respondents also cited the lack of free Wi-Fi and the complex public transport system as additional hindrances.

According to estimates, foreign visitors to Tokyo more than doubled from 5.56 million in 2012 to 11.89 million in 2015. Last year, they set an all-time high of about 13.77 million.

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