Tourist guides are a popular attraction
The first batch of 11 volunteer tourist guides in Songjiang’s Zuibai Pond Park have been praised by the public for their diligence since they took office on June 22.
“We launched the volunteer tourist guide project to relieve a guide shortage at weekends and holidays and raise the service standard of Zuibai Pond Park,” said a park staff member.
The project, initiated earlier this year, attracted people from all walks of life. Their full-time jobs vary from trainers, teachers and civil servants to freelancers.
The assessment process was strict.
The examiner divided introduction of the park into 20 sections of 20 different attractions. Volunteer applicants drew lots and delivered their presentations on site. The qualified applicants entered the final shortlist.
“If no one books their service, the volunteers will stay in front of the entrance and take the initiative to offer guide service to tourists,” said the staff member.
Volunteer Zhou Yanrui was on duty on June 29 and 30, days when Shanghai issued a yellow storm alert.
“I thought there would be few tourists, but I soon met a group of parents and kids taking a family trip in the park. I offered my service. Afterward, the tourists praised my work and had a group photo with me,” said Zhou.
Mao Nina, another volunteer, prints out her talk on handy cards.
For Liu Shenglan, voluntary work is like a pack of dominos, offering her knowledge one after another.
“Beside the lotus pond is the crane whooping pavilion, an attraction I would naturally elaborate further to mention ancient literati Lu Ji (AD 261-303), who wished to hear again the crane whooping sounds of Songjiang before he was wrongfully executed in an alien land,” said Liu.
Besides delivering history knowledge, the volunteers also promote garbage-sorting rules.
It takes them one hour to finish their talks and each volunteer can receive three or four batches of tourists in a day, according to the park.