Small traders at several markets in the central city of Da Nang, including Son Tra night market, are now being provided with free foreign language courses, to improve service quality and woo more customers to their stores.
Since running her business at the Son Tra night market, an emerging tourist destination in Da Nang city, Pham Le Na has been aware of the necessity of learning foreign languages as she has to talk to customers from around the world every day.
“I can speak English, Korean, and Chinese, but just for communication only, just enough to get the customers to buy my goods,” Na said.
Since the market was put into operation, the Son Tra authority has conducted training courses on communication skills and service quality. The free foreign language classes in particular, which only last for only 4-6 weeks but stick to material relevant to traders’ products, has proved popular, making positive changes to sales.
Nguyen Anh Ngoc, who has a store in Son Tra night market, said she has learnt to communicate with foreign customers.
“If we can speak their language, foreign customers seem to be happier and I can sell more products, she said.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai, Head of the Economic Division of the city said “through the two classes, we have found over 50 traders who are very excited and want to study a course on Chinese. So in the coming time, we are thinking of opening a Chinese class, and maybe an advanced one.”
Despite their modest language proficiency, their hard work and hospitality have meant that traders are leaving good impressions on tourists.
Tourists come to the pedestrian streets and night markets not only for shopping, but also to experience local lifestyle and culture. Hence, traders are tourism ambassadors. Foreign languages help them improve business while luring more tourists to the destinations.