Kuching, 15 October 2012 - Pending Port here today welcomed 154 passengers who came on board the cruise ship MV Orion II (Orion Expedition Cruises) as part of its 10 Nights “Camp Leakey – Faces in the Forest” cruise from Singapore. This cruise covers Anambas Archipelago, Natuna Archipelago, Bako National Park, Kuching (Semenggoh), At Sea, Tanjung Puting (Camp Leakey) and ending in Bali.

This is the 14th and the last cruise ship arrival for this year and 10th for MV ORION II. The MV Orion II (Orion Expedition Cruises), also heralded the start of the 2012 season in January this year.

Passengers on this cruise comprise Australians, making up the majority, Americans, Swiss, Canadians and from UK, Indonesia and France. Whilst in Sarawak, they will visit the Semenggoh Orang Utan Centre and the Sarawak Cultural Vllage, apart of course, a tour of the sights of the City.

Cruise Tourism has played an important part in the State’s Tourism industry. According to statistics received, Sarawak was the only port of call in Malaysia who saw a 100% increase in cruise ship arrivals and its passengers.“Cruise Tourism is undoubtedly gaining popularity and cruise operators have shown interest in plying this route. We are definitely looking forward to an increase in arrivals in the coming year,” said Mr Maurice Balang, Regional Marketing Manager (UK & Europe). However, in order for this to happen, Sarawak Tourism Board has been working with various government agencies, including the management of each port to ensure a safe and successful cruise arrival to the state. “Improvement on the quality of services to tourists is one of the important aspects, which help to develop the cruise tourism sector and this will attract more of cruise ship’s arrival in the future. It will also generate significant revenue for tourism sectors and contributes numbers to the tourist arrival to the state as a whole” reiterated Maurice Balang.

Mr Balang was on hand to welcome the group, who were given a rousing welcome, Sarawak style, by a cultural troupe, courtesy of the Board.

Sarawak’s overall tourist arrivals, has shown an increasing trend and up to August this year, there was a 9.6% increase in total arrivals, with foreign arrivals increasing at 15% when compared to the same period last year.

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Corporate Communications Unit


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Date: October 16, 2012