Pangkor preps for tourists


By IVAN

Ready for action: Visits to Teluk Nipah beach in Pangkor are expected to start to pick up in November. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

IPOH: The state will try to overcome crowding issues at jetties as preparations begin to reopen Pangkor Island to the rest of the country, says Perak tourism committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi.

She said the matter would be looked into, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections.

“We have a special committee which consists of tourism industry players, jetty operators and local authorities to monitor the issue, including checking digital vaccination certificates at the gateways into Pangkor.

“The Duty-Free Island Secretariat, which is responsible for overall administration and management of the island on behalf of the state, will be working with the special committee,” she said after opening a delivery riders’ relax and restoration kiosk at Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil here yesterday.

Nolee Ashilin had previously said that the island is expected to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists from Nov 1.

This, however, is subject to approval by the National Security Council (NSC) and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

Pangkor is among the few islands included in the ministry’s Covid-19-Free Destination Programme.

Nolee Ashilin said the state was awaiting the green light from the ministry and for the standard operating procedure from the NSC to reopen the island.

“We will also need to look at the Langkawi travel bubble model.

“If it is a success, then the same model can be used in Pangkor.

“We will try to fulfil all the criteria from now until November,” she added.

She also encouraged people who want to go to Pangkor to pre-book their ferry tickets to prevent overcrowding at the jetty.

A pre-booking system was already being implemented by ferry operators to reduce walk-ins, she said.

“Ticket buyers will be given a pre-book time and date to travel.

“Waiting times can also be reduced as people will know what time they should arrive instead of just waiting (at the jetty).

“We want to prevent crowding at the jetty, which is quite small,” she said, adding that the state is also planning to set a limit to the number of tourists allowed to go to Pangkor.

Since travelling within the state was already open, she said some tourism industry players on the island have begun their operations.

“I understand that the tourism and hotel associations there have identified which operators are prepared to open,” she said, adding that more would open in stages.

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