Forbidden City seeks expat volunteer guides

Expatriates in China are being sought after as volunteer tour guides at Beijing’s Forbidden City. The attraction said it was seeking 20 expatriates before, during and after the Beijing Olympic Games next August, China Daily reported.

“We are the first public museum in China to try to recruit foreign volunteers,” Duan Yong, director of the museum’s foreign affairs office, told China Daily.

The museum, which was the royal palace during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, drew 8.77 million visitors last year, including 1.5 million foreigners.

The expatriate volunteers it is seeking are those whose native languages are English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish or Arabic; and they should have basic Chinese language skills.

Asked why it has to be foreigners, Duan was quoted saying: “We think that native speakers can explain things more accurately, and make foreign visitors feel at home.”

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