Can I help? Salvador welcomes tourists in several languages

21/06/2014 - 17:28
Over 180 bilingual professionals have been allocated at strategic points of the city, such as the airport and the Pelourinho

Maria Carolina Lopes#Fans obtain information from one of the guides in front of the Lacerda Elevator in Salvador

According to estimates by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, Salvador will receive about 300 thousand tourists during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, almost 50 thousand of which from abroad. To ensure a smooth stay to these visitors, the Secretariat of Tourism of the State of Bahia (Setur) has allocated 180 tour guides and monitors at strategic points of Bahia's capital to assist and answer questions from tourists.

The professionals can be found in places such the airport, the central bus station, the main access routes to the stadium and tourist attractions such as the Historic Centre. One of Setur’s goals was to ensure there were people on the streets who could speak English, French and German, as well as less common languages such as Mandarin, Japanese and Dutch. There are also speakers of Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) to assist the deaf and the hearing impaired.

One of the main places of concentration is the Pelourinho, a much sought-after attraction during the World Cup. Rosivaldo Lima is one of the accredited guides offering help to tourists in the area. Rosivaldo has been working as a guide at the Pelourinho for fifteen years, and took Spanish classes sponsored by Bahia's Secretariat of World Cup Matters (Secopa) to prepare for his job.

“It is a mega event, and tourists are coming in from all over the world," explained Rosivaldo. He said foreigners are already making plans to return to Salvador later on. “The World Cup will definitely increase the number of tourists in the country. We are known as the country of football and Carnival. They came here because of the World Cup, but leave here saying they want to go back for Carnival, to get another perspective of the country," he said.

Maria Carolina Lopes#Rosivaldo Lima: 15 years’ experience with tourists at the PelourinhoIn addition to the Tourist Service Centres (CATs), visitors can ask questions and get information by phone as well. The Bahia Tourism Hotline ("Disque Bahia Turismo") works 24 hours a day and provides services in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and other languages. The phone number is +55 (71) 3103-3103 (landline), and the service can also be accessed online at www.bahia.com.br.

De acordo com o Ministério do Turismo, Salvador vai receber cerca de 300 mil turistas ao longo da Copa do Mundo da FIFA 2014, sendo quase 50 mil estrangeiros. Para assegurar uma boa passagem dos visitantes, a Secretaria do Turismo do Estado da Bahia (Setur) colocou 180 guias e monitores em pontos estratégicos da capital baiana para auxiliar e tirar dúvidas dos turistas.

Os profissionais de turismo podem ser encontrados em locais como o aeroporto e a rodoviária, principais pontos de acesso dos torcedores, e em atrações turísticas da cidade, como no Centro Histórico. Uma das preocupações da Setur foi a de colocar nas ruas pessoas que falem idiomas como inglês, francês e alemão, além de outros menos comuns, como mandarim, japonês e holandês. Há ainda especialistas na Linguagem Brasileira de Sinais (Libras).

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