Phuket Business: Say it in Chinese

An exclusive interview with the Kopi Chinese Language Training Center reveals some of Phuket’s past and looks towards the future of foreign language learning.

PHUKET: The business of education in Phuket continues on an upward trend, with one local Chinese language center preparing for the integration of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

The Phuket Gazette’s student intern Wisuwat Romin recently sat down with Mr Jakkapan Jitsomboon, owner of the Kopi Chinese Language Training Center on Thepkrasattri road, across from Wat Kosit Wiharn in Phuket Town.

Mr Jakkapan says that Chinese language training will continue to become more prevalant in the future, and that his company has recently invested between 5-10 million baht in their school.

“Our main target market consists of policemen, doctors, nurses, salespeople, students and local businessmen, who make up about 95% of our clients; while the other 5% are tourists,” says Mr Jakkapan.

He says that the quality of service his customers receive at the language center is unmatched.

Kopi Chinese Language Training Center has experienced a lot of demand from the Phuket market in recent months.

“Even though our business currently has an income of many tens of thousands of baht per month, in the future, our aim will be to earn many hundreds of thousands or millions of baht per month,” he said.

Mr Jakkapan says that most customers are native Phuketians usually members of the upper class.

“The training center has a ‘teacher guarantee certificate’ from an educational institute in China,” he adds.

The Kopi Chinese Training Center continues to grow and look to the future of the foreign language market of Phuket.

“But, why study Chinese language?” interjects Ms Ren, a teacher at the school.

She notes that the Chinese language is important to all local people because of the lasting influence of Chinese settlers here and the recent surge of Chinese holiday tourism.

“The Kopi Chinese Training Center teaches students to listen, read, speak and also helps them learn about Chinese culture in general,” she says.

“Only two years away now, the AEC is coming and we are predicting that many customers will travel to Phuket from China and maintaining this growth will mean learning about Chinese culture.”

This year, Chinese tour groups traveling to Phuket accounted for 142,582 of the the total
number of tourists, up about 106% in this half of the year.

Ms Ren believes that expanding basic Chinese knowledge to customers around Phuket will have an overall beneficial effect on the people here.

“Our business credo is, ‘Quality development of human resources in Phuket’,” says Ms Ren.

“In the future this will help Phuket become a center of tourism within the AEC.”

“We realize that Kopi Chinese Training Center is a small school, but we feel that we can compete with famous schools successfully. Our business has seen positive reception from major local businesses such as the Outlet store, Phuket International Airport and British International School.

For more information call: 076212225.

— Wisuwat Romin

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