The number of foreign tourists who take the Pansodan-Dala ferryboats is expected to double this fiscal year, according to an official from the Pansodan jetty.
Some 30,000 foreign tourists took the ferry in 2013-14 fiscal year generating a revenue of over $100,000. That number was surpassed in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, while the total figure will double that of last year due to the start of the tourist season, said U Aye Myint Maung, manager of the jetty.
“The number of foreign passengers in the whole 2012-13 doubled in 2013-14 and the figure is also expected to rise by the same amount this year. The modern ferries can ensure the comfort of the foreign tourists although there have been some complaints about the ticket price,” he said.
Starting this year, tourism police tag along with the ferries to protect the foreign tourists while the township administration department of Dala is working with relevant officials to ensure the safety of the tourists.
Maps of the town of Dala along with information newsletters and liaison staff to provide information are also available at the Pansodan jetty on the Yangon side, U Aye Myint Maung said.
Ticket fares for foreigners were raised to $2 per trip in January 2013 from $1 previously while local passengers are charged K100 (10 cents) per trip.
“The ferry trip is pleasant but foreigners should not be required to pay more than the locals for tickets. In countries like the Philippines and Thailand, travel fares are the same for locals and foreigners alike,” said a tourist from Spain.
Old ferries running the Pansodan-Dala water route were replaced by three modern ferries provided by the Japanese government in November last year. Two of the new vessels, named Cherry 1, 2 and 3, run daily and operate from 5am to 9pm.