Vietnam metro deploys youth volunteers to assist foreign tourists

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Members of the Volunteer Tourist Guide Team at a station in downtown Ho Chi Minh City

District 1 authorities in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday launched a pilot program which assigns youth volunteers to assist foreign visitors at common tourist destinations.

The Volunteer Tourist Guide Team, comprising 78 youths fluent in English will be on duty from 8 11 a.m. and 2 5 p.m., seven days a week.

During the pilot program, the volunteers will work at three stations near the backpacker area: the corner of Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham; De Tham and Bui Vien; and 262 De Tham in District 1's Pham Ngu Lao Ward.

Wearing blue jerseys, the volunteers will provide information about tourist destinations and hotels and accompany tourists to their destinations upon request.

They will also help local police deal with cases where tourists' safety has been threatened.

The District 1 People's Committee, the local government, plans to expand the model if the service is found to be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, the city's Youth Volunteers Association will continue to deploy staff to the downtown area to assist tourists. This force, wearing green shirts, have helped many tourists cross busy streets and prevented street vendors from haranguing the visitors. 

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