Medellin taxi drivers receive tourism pack

Medellin taxi drivers on Wednesday were given a new tourist info package to help provide a better service for visitors to the city over the Christmas period.

The new initiative, which got underway with its first delivery Wednesday, is intended to provide some 4,000 taxi drivers with information about attractions around the city that may appeal to visitors over Christmas, explained the Citizen’s Education Secretary, Elmer Zapata, in a statement to Colombia Reports.

The package will include a map of the city, the Medellin Christmas program, transport information, and a guide detailing some of the principal attractions such as the Cerro Nutibarra, Pueblito Paisa and the Plaza Botero.

A poster will also be attached to the back of the driver’s seat with basic phrases in Spanish and English for the benefit of those using the taxis.

The idea is to enable certain Medellin services, such as taxis, to be better informed about the city ahead of the influx of foreign visitors who are expected to arrive, with events such as the 9th Juegos Suramericanos de Medellin 2010 and the Iberoamericano Culture Congress being held in the city next year.

The city’s Tourism Secretary, Carolina Laverde, explained that the initiative aimed to provide taxi drivers with basic information in both Spanish and English to enable them to work more successfully with international visitors.

Culture Secretary Piedad Monsalve further explained that meetings have already been held with taxi firms and associations in Medellin in order to establish a permanent platform to address issues such as bilingualism and transport security.

This initiative will be the first o fa proposed education program designed to improve Medellin’s services for the benefit of foreign visitors. The second step of the program will be launched in February 2010.

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