The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has taken a noble initiative to train the taxi drivers of Mumbai in spoken English and behavioral skills in order to reduce the communication gap between the taxi drivers and foreign tourists. The initiative is a result of the efforts towards enhancing hospitality for visitors in Mumbai. MTDC has collaborated with GVK and Maharashtra Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for this venture.
According to the 2012 report from the Ministry of Tourism India, Maharashtra received the largest number of foreign tourist arrivals. So the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is concerned about the ease and convenience of foreign tourists who numbered 5.1 million in the year 2012. The project has already been started with 60 cab drivers at the Sahar International Airport.
The training of 1,110 cab drivers in English communication will be covered in the first phase of the project. 750 drivers will undergo training at the international airport. Training for the rest will take place at Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Mumbai Central, Churchgate, Kurla Terminus and Chhatrapati Shivaji. Training will be conducted through 37 sessions for two months. The total number of cab drivers to be trained in spoken English is divided into several batches; each batch having 30.
On completion of the training, the cab drivers will be certified wit identity card cum certificates. Their taxis will be refurbished with seat covers displaying the popular destinations of Maharashtra. Moreover, brochures on Maharashtra tourism will be available in the cabs. The cab drivers will be armed with relevant information on commercial venues and tourist spots across Mumbai.
Once the project is over, another project will be launched to equip the cab drivers with English communication skills in other parts of the state. MTDC will organize free medical checkup camps for cab drivers in appreciation of their role in the growth of tourism.
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