Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sibu's Orient Pandaw attracting more high-end tourists

THE RV Orient Pandaw, the only cruise ship operating out of Sibu on the Rajang River has been successful in bringing in high-end tourists to Sarawak.

Pandaw Cruises Management Pte Ltd chief executive officer Yim Choong Hing said 90% of the passengers were from the niche markets in Europe, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

“Since we commenced operation in July last year, our ship had ferried an estimated 1,300 foreign passengers. They easily spent few hundred US dollars a day in Sarawak,” Yim told StarMetro.

He brushed off critics who said Pandaw Cruises did not contribute anything to the local economy.

“We imported nothing. Everything the crew and passengers consumed on board are purchased locally in Sibu or Kuching. At the same time, the local shipyards and the hardware shops are also benefiting from our regular maintenance work,” he added.

Yim said apart from companies selling fuel, local transport companies also benefited from Pandaw Cruises when they used their facilities such as coaches, vans and boats several times in a month to ferry tourists.

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