Taiwan drivers learn to smile at Chinese tourists


Taipei – Taiwan’s largest bus company is teaching its drivers how to flash the best smile to welcome Chinese tourists.

The Taiwan Motor Transport Co, which operates long-distance buses across the island, has launched a “Learn to Smile” campaign to prepare its several hundred bus drivers for the influx of Chinese tourists, CTI TV reported.

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Using a poster showing the face of Taiwan’s top female model Lin Chih-ling, the company is asking its bus drivers to imitate Lin’s trademark smile – which shows her white teeth – to make Chinese tourists feel welcome.

Each bus driver must hold up the poster and practise the Lin smile at least 1,200 times, CTI reported. After banning contact with China for half a century, Taiwan will finally open weekend charter flights July 4 to allow Chinese tour groups to visit Taiwan.

Taiwan’s new President Ma Ying-jeou, from the pro-China Chinese Nationalist Party or KMT, wants the weekend charter flights to be expanded to daily charter flights and eventually to regular flights across the Taiwan Strait.

In the initial stage, Taiwan has set a daily quota of 3,000 Chinese tourists per day, totaling one million a year.