TCI, Faculty of Tourism, Udayana University Improves Chinese Language Skills for Bali Tour Guides

Chinese or Chinese tourist visits to Bali after the Covid-19 pandemic continue to experience an increasing trend. The normal situation before the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of visits could reach 1.2 million per year. However, the high number of tourist arrivals is not accompanied by the readiness of Mandarin-speaking human resources for the Balinese.

In Bali, 85 percent of Mandarin guides are still controlled by outsiders. In Bali itself there is still a minimum of guides who speak Mandarin. With this phenomenon, the Association of Indonesian Tour Guides for the Province of Bali together with TCI (Tourism Confucius Institute) Faculty of Tourism, Udayana University (Unud) took the initiative to improve Mandarin language skills in the Community Service program (PKM) which was officially opened on Wednesday (26/4) in Nusantara Room Unud Agrocomplex Building, Denpasar.

The program with the theme "Improving Mandarin Language Skills for Tour Guides in Bali" will last for three months and be attended by 86 participants from HPI Bali members from the Japanese, Korean, English, Domestic, Russian, French divisions. Mandarin language training is carried out face-to-face and taught directly by native speakers from Nanchang University, China.

Chairperson of HPI Bali I Nyoman Nuarta expressed his gratitude to TCI (Tourism Confucius Institute) Faculty of Tourism, Udayana University, which has provided opportunities for HPI Bali to improve their Mandarin language skills. It is hoped that this program will continue to be maintained on an ongoing basis. To HPI members, Nuarta invites children or neighbors to take advantage of the momentum and opportunities in the future to learn Mandarin. He said, if a rare opportunity like this is used, he is sure that he will have great prospects.

By starting to increase the number of visits by Chinese tourists to Bali, it is predicted that it will boom. Meanwhile, the Mandarin guide is still outside or hasn't returned to Bali because of Covid yesterday. This concern is for the fulfillment of Mandarin tour guides, so the ability to improve Mandarin is carried out through this program. "This opportunity is for HPI Bali members to be able to take advantage of it to study seriously. So that in the future they will be able to become qualified Mandarin guides," he hoped.

It is said, the obstacle is the lack of Balinese people learning Mandarin, because it is difficult. In contrast to other languages ​​such as English, Spanish, French and German. It is evident from the 1,600 tour guides in Bali, the least number are Mandarin guides.

In line with Nuarta, Chair of the TCI Faculty of Tourism Unud Dr. I Made Sendra did not deny that there were few people interested in learning Mandarin because it was difficult to learn. Even though Bali needs a lot of Chinese market guides, because the Chinese market from 2010 to 2019 experienced an increasing trend which at its peak in 2017 visits reached 2.3 million. "It's really difficult. In addition, there is no Mandarin Literature department at Unud. In 2018 the top visit position is Chinese tourists shifting Australia's position," he explained.

Meanwhile Vice Dean of the Faculty of Tourism Unud Yayu Indrawati, S.S., M.Par., Ph.D said, currently is a transition from a pandemic to an endemic, there are indications for the world of tourism, that the borders of all countries are almost all open. So every time there will be tourism arrivals, without any more travel restrictions.

This also happened in China, as it happened at the beginning of 2023 in February. There is a charter flight from Shenzhen to Bali which carries around 200 tourists. "I see regular flights from China are normal. China has opened direct flights to Bali. This has a significant impact on those engaged in the world of tourism," she explained.

He added, during normal times (before the pandemic, ed) Chinese tourists visited Bali as many as 1.2 million per year. Meanwhile, currently we hope that 70 percent of 1.2 million can be achieved. So that tourism stretches back in Bali. Thus, from the number of visits to come, it should be accompanied by an increase in the capacity of guides. HR readiness needs to be prepared in terms of education, skills, to be able to handle Chinese tourists.