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Orlando dispatches airport translators to cater to growing number of international visitors

Excerpt from Orlando Sentinel

Jan 03, 2013 1:30 am

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Orland is going the extra step by dispatching translators skilled with languages that fit the needs of most incoming passengers rather than setting up translation phones that are used at other destinations.

— Samantha Shankman

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They come in waves, in small groups or alone, the common denominator being the quizzical looks on their faces. Wandering about cavernous Orlando International Airport with everything from overstuffed backpacks to kids in tow, they typically are unable to speak or read English.

Enter OIA’s ambassador program, a group of 16 people who speak 11 different languages, not including English.¬†Debra Bouier, who runs the ambassador program, said OIA tries to match up ambassadors with the international flights that are scheduled to land.

Catering to international visitors is important at the airport because they represent the fastest-growing segment of the passenger count, now comprising more than 9 percent of the total annual traffic of more than 35.3 million.

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