Yong Tai gets approval to develop international cruise terminal in Melaka

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 20): Yong Tai Bhd says it has received greenlight from the Melaka state government to develop an international cruise terminal at its flagship RM8 billion mixed development, Impression City Melaka.

In a bourse filing, the company said its wholly-owned YTB Impression Sdn Bhd (YTBI) has accepted the letter of approval from the Melaka government for the cruise terminal today.

In conjunction with the approval, Yong Tai said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Cruise Center Pte Ltd (SCC), in relation to the proposed engagement of SCC as the terminal's operator and manager.

SCC currently manages and operates three ferry terminals and one international cruise terminal in Singapore.

Yong Tai Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon said the cruise industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of tourism.

“There is no doubt that this upcoming cruise terminal will increase tourist arrivals in Impression City Melaka, which in turn will lead to greater spending by tourists. This augurs well with the business strategies of Yong Tai to spur tourists’ interest for Encore Melaka’s captivating shows,” Boo said in a separate statement.

The proposed terminal will be integrated with the group’s Terra Square mixed development in Impression City, which is also linked to the Encore Melaka theatre.

“Earlier, we have slowed down the construction works in Terra Square, as we intend to have a masterplan to integrate the elements and concepts of the upcoming cruise terminal,” he added.

The completion of the cruise terminal is going to be a "major game changer for Impression City", Yong Tai said, as it will further strengthen the project's gross development value over the long run.

Yong Tai shares closed one sen or 6.9% lower at 13.5 sen today, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM128 million. The counter saw some 11.13 million shares traded. The stock has fallen 67.5% in the past one year.