SIBU: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wishes to see tourism players coming up with proposals to start Rajang River cruise.
He believes that the Rajang River Cruise would be a good tourism product because of the many longhouses along the Rajang River that could be promoted to tourists.
“The Rajang River Cruise definitely would be a good tourism package. The government is supportive but it has to be initiated by the private sector. I wish there are tourism players out there who would come up with proposals to start this Rajang Cruise,” the Asajaya assemblyman told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Abdul Karim was asked whether the tourism potential of the mighty Rajang River was yet to be exploited and if river cruise could be a good way to attract certain segments of tourists.
He assured: “Our ministry would definitely support and assist in making it interesting and able to sustain. There are many longhouses along the Rajang River that could be showcased to tourists and are able to benefit from these cruises.”
Meanwhile, dubbed as a five-star floating hotel, the Pandaw Cruise on Rajang River was introduced in July 2009.
However, the cruise on the 640km Rajang River was discontinued in 2012.
According to media reports then, the Myanmar-based river cruise company cited low profit margin and logistical and operational difficulties for ceasing the operation.
Nevertheless, the river cruise had attracted tourists especially those from overseas.
It journeyed along the river from Sibu to Kanowit, Song, Kapit, Pelagus, Sarikei and Tanjung Manis before returning to Sibu.
Tourists visited many places of interest and had a first-hand experience of the cultures of various communities along the river throughout the nine-day cruise, besides sampling a myriad of local delicacies.
Their itinerary included, among others, a stop-over in Kanowit and a visit to a rubber plantation. While there, they also visited Fort Emma and a handicraft centre.
In Kapit, tourists visited the Teresang Market, which was often packed with jungle produce. -TheBorneoPost