The Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports will provide foreign language courses for local tour guides in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) next year.

Director of the Bureau of Policy and Strategy Promchoti Trivech said there will be more than 25 million foreign tourist arrivals to Thailand once the AEC takes shape.

In addition to tourist safety, the tourism ministry has cooperated with the Ministry of Education in developing language skills for tour guides. The foreign language courses are needed to cater for Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Korean tourists.

A network of volunteer translators has also been set up to reduce shortages of certain foreign language speaking tour guides. They are mostly university students who study languages included in the programme.-VNA