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Cornwall Boosting Tourism Through Learning Languages

Cornwall’s tourism industry is looking to boost its image through languages. The area is offering hoteliers and others the opportunity to learn other languages through a one day seminar and other longer courses.

More than 200 have already signed up for the one-day Welcome International courses in European languages and longer NVQ courses. More courses are planned for the autumn and schools will also become involved. Jane Cowans, spokeswoman for the Tourism Skills Network, said: “The three key languages we have chosen to offer, following research, are French, German and Spanish.”

Communication Skills at a Distance

Three of the one-day courses have already been held in Saltash, Falmouth and St Austell. But ten more are planned across Cornwall for the autumn, followed by another 12 in partnership with the Cornwall Adult Education Service. The NVQs are being offered via distance learning, so hoteliers can learn via the Internet rather than having to give up valuable time to travel to a college.

The language courses are also aimed at extending the tourism “shoulder season” because many European visitors take holidays in Cornwall in June and September, not during the busy summer months.

“Overseas visitors come for other reasons apart from bucket and spade holidays,” said Jane. “They come for reasons such as culture and heritage.”

The Tourism Skills Network has gained £100,000 for the scheme via Objective One and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Brooke Van Dam, International Education Correspondent

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